Nursing lecturer trains Tanzanians

CARER: Annabella Gloster went to Tanzania to coach local doctors and nurses about caring for AIDS and HIV patients

A UNIVERSITY of Salford nursing lecturer has been to Tanzania to train local health professionals.

Annabella Gloster recently has returned from the African country where she has been co-facilitating training sessions for nurses and other health care professionals who look after patients with HIV and AIDS.

She spent three weeks with staff of NGO Mildmay International around Mount Kilimanjaro in a country where nearly  1.6 million people have HIV or Aids.

As part of the trip, Annabella was able to visit the homes of patients who have to balance the treatment of their illness with the need to work and find food and water.

She said: “One of the families consisted of a mother and eight children. They lived in a mud hut, and one of children had cerebral palsy. The boy could not walk as his legs had wasted, and was often just placed on the floor to be left in the heat as there was other work to be done.

“I am sure if he had been given the opportunity to have physiotherapy, he probably would have been walking. However, with no access to these resources or a wheelchair, he will remain left wherever someone has placed him. Yet the smiles and warmth from this family were so touching.

“I felt that there was so much more I could have done, there were just so many people who needed help. I’m thankful that I was useful in a small way to the people in Tanzania through my clinical knowledge, teaching and organisational skills.”

uring her visit Annabella spent time in four hospitals where she was able to meet the people who care for this population – often without adequate training or medical supplies.

Annabella also co-facilitated a training week for 24 doctors, nurses and clinical officers teaching them about pain control, advocacy, communication with children, spiritual issues and the care of the dying.

She was also able to speak to them about the safe use of morphine (which is restricted by the national government due to fears of addiction) and learnt about how in the absence of standard treatments, local staff use banana leaves to control incontinence and pawpaw seeds as a laxative.

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