Monday, 31 August 2015

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Cumbrian student nurses' once-in-a-lifetime work placement

Two student nurses will wave goodbye to Cumbria and say jambo – hello in Swahili – to Tanzania this summer.

Student nurses photo
Joy Wilson, left and Denise Crayston

Joy Wilson and Denise Crayston will both be heading to Arusha, in the northern part of the country, to work in the city’s hospital.

The work experience with a difference is part of a scheme run by charity Elective Africa, which organises medical placements in the continent.

The pair, who are both in their second year of study at the University of Cumbria, are looking forward to their trip but expect it to be an eye-opener.

Joy, 30, from Carleton, Carlisle, said: “It is going to be an experience and it will be good for us to get experience of looking at some of the conditions that we do not get in this country.”

“We are going to visit an HIV clinic because that is something that we don’t get a lot over here.”

According to the United Nations, Tanzania is the 36th poorest country in the world and many of its population live in absolute poverty.

“This is going to be alife-changing experience,” added Joy.

Their work will involve working in hospitals without many medical supplies, which the two friends think will pose a particular challenge.

“We are going to see a lot of people dying that we wouldn’t see dying here,” added Denise, 22, of Holmrook in west Cumbria.

The two women will be funding the trip themselves and are organising a series of events to make enough money to get themselves to Tanzania.

Denise will be staying for a month while Joy will be there for two weeks because of commitments to her two children, who will be looked after by friends and family while she is abroad.

Denise also said: “We are going to be working in hospitals with nurses and doctors. It will be a hands-on experience. We’ll get to observe them and then take on tasks.”

The placement has been approved by their university tutors and will count towards their degrees.

While the pair are in Tanzania they plan to visit orphanages and donate gifts to the children there.

Their first fundraising event will be a pie and peas quiz night on February 21 in the Calva Bar on the university campus.


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