AusHeal Blog

AusHEAL TEAMS arrive

First impressions and comments:

2018 AusHEAL Medical and Nursing Teams

The AusHEAL Nursing Team arrived on Saturday 25 August followed by the Medical Team on Saturday 1 September.  In welcoming both teams, some of their first impressions included the following:

  • GOMA:  Traffic / People jumping in front of moving cars / Lots of people / nothing could have prepared me for it / sad seeing a lady sitting on the pavement with two children asleep on her lap / people walking everywhere
  • HEAL Africa:  overwhelming / a tear came to my eye seeing a little boy in Intensive Care / people grateful to see me return / staff using what they have….as they say “This is all we’ve got.” / gratitude for all that AusHEAL teams have done previously

Sickness has struck many of the team members – colds, headaches, fevers, tooth pain and diarrhoea….with a few needing to take days off.

Sadness continues to overcome the team – from watching children suffering pain and their cries, to witnessing 4 women after delivery sharing the one bed due to lack of space, and to having to resuscitate a 1-year old infant in intensive care during the afternoon, continuing into the night after successful morning surgery.

Smiling is irresistible seeing HEAL Africa staff after a teaching session catching a ‘volunteer’ out while trying to reiterate the main points of the teaching / watching the hospital staff using ‘what they already have’ to put into place an important treatment principle / entering a room to see HEAL Africa staff trained by AusHEAL in turn teaching & training fellow colleagues.

LECTURES: Team members have excelled in their preparation for lecture presentations.

AusHEAL Orthopaedic Nurses (left & right) going over their presentations with their Interpreter (centre)

Our Paediatric Intensive Care Nurse (centre) preparing with her Interpreter & the AusHEAL
Nursing Team Leader (left)

INTERPRETERS: As most of the nursing staff and patients do not speak English, AusHEAL arranges for English-speaking Medical Students to interpret for team members.  This has a two-fold effect – firstly our team members are able to communicate their teaching and training (both lecture-style and one-on-one); and secondly the medical students learn much theory of medicine and practical applications.  (In fact, one of our current COSECSA Junior Trainees commented on how valuable was his experience of interpreting for AusHEAL teams in previous years, that he believes he is a better doctor now.)

Team with interpreters


WORKSHOP: The annual AusHEAL Workshop for all clinical and administrative staff was held on Saturday 8 September.  This was attended by about 135 HEAL Africa staff.  The focus was Making Connections’ and the aim was to try to identify the ‘missing links’ in a chain of care by various staff and departments from admission of patients through to discharge, to ensure smooth processes and successful outcomes for the patients.

After lunch, workshop attendees worked together in their hospital departmental groups to discuss and develop individual plans to improve in 3 specific areas over the following 12 months.

One departmental group discussion following the morning Workshop