September 27, 2012
Students from Western Australian universities will travel to Tanzania in November to volunteer their services as nurses in rural health care clinics and hospitals to help improve basic health care.
The trip was created by the Global Heath Alliance Western Australia in 2008 to help student nurses broaden their skills by working in developing countries.
GHAWA Program Manager Jenni Ng said each university in Western Australia had selected four second or third year nursing students to embark on the 16-day trip.
The students will put their skills into practice while volunteering in a private and public hospital in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, as well as working in rural Tanzanian health clinics.
“It’s the first collaboration in Australia where we have five universities coming together for a practical placement,” Ms Ng said.
A representative from each university will also be going on the voluntary trip.
Nursing lecturer and registered nurse Darren Falconer is the University of Notre Dame representative accompanying the students.
Professor Falconer said the students would get a cultural shock but had been attending monthly meetings to prepare them for what they would be seeing and doing in Tanzania.
The students would be exposed to a number of HIV AIDS patients, and child fatalities Professor Falconer said.
“The trip is a fantastic experience and I definitely think it not only improves the students’ outlook on their own lives but also throughout their career as a nurse,” he said.
Out of the 60 applications received, four students were chosen from each of Notre Dame, the University of WA, Murdoch University, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University.
The four students attending the trip from Notre Dame are 20-year-old Shenae Riley, Elspeth Mazza (22), Imogen Lievense (19) and Brett Hatfield (19).
Second year nursing student Ms Riley is excited about the opportunity to work in a third world country and help look after people in need.
“I am nervous about the language barrier as it is going to be quite difficult to translate and understand what the patient needs,” Ms Riley said.
The students from Notre Dame will be holding a high tea on October 13 to raise money to buy basic medical supplies including thermometers, gloves and stationary.