So after a few days since blogging we have finally managed to find some time to write. After a good 2 days workshop in Lilongwe Donald and Liz left Tracy and headed north with Dr Ann Phoya, Ellen, Rose and Henry our Malawian colleagues for the town of Muzuzu in the Northern District.
We passed through some amasing scenery and visited several health facilities en route. Only 10 minute stop at the beautiful Lake Malawi to feel the heat of the sand and gaze at the view….all while clutching our RGU laptops.
We have an impression of people everywhere, cycling and walking on the roads. The health facilities we have seen outwith the main towns are busy and look understaffed, stretched for the basic resources. Good as a midwife though, to see how ingrained in practice is skin to skin contact for small and ill newborns with kangaroo care the norm. I have come across some wonderful signs including one yesterday which stated amongst other things ” anyone found not adhering to the breastfeeding policy will be taken to the district supervisor and disciplined”…..I liked that, and will try to send a Malawi signs entry before we leave.
Arriving late last night in Muzuzu it was up early to finalise our workshop for today. We were a bit later starting than planned but wonderful to be joined by around 25 Malawian education colleagues in a workshop to prepare them to teach the principles of mentorship for nursing and midwifery students.Great too to meet again with some of the midwifery tutors who had been in Aberdeen last year as part of a Commonwealth Fellows scheme. The participation and discussions were lively and it was also fascinating in groups and over lunch to talk about the nurse/ midwife education models and provision here. Many themes and challenges for them rang true with us, only different in degree and setting. Lots of good discussion on how to engage students in learning. Tomorrow will be the second day with this group. So hopefully tomorrow Donald will write and we will have some photos of our colleagues who have completed the workshops.