For the last week we have had the pleasure and companionship of Karen, Bob, Sandie and France, all members of the Nursing and Midwifery team from the St Mary’s Juba Link. For those of you that don’t know, the St Mary’s Juba Link is a hospital-hospital partnership between St Mary’s Hospital, Isle of Wight and Juba Teaching Hospital, South Sudan. They send trainers out to JTH and teach a variety of courses. Below is a blog from them. We hope you enjoy it.
All the best,
David and Clare xxx
One week into our trip, the first Juba St Mary’s link nursing and midwifery education visit has been very productive. Although nurses have visited Juba Teaching Hospital previously, undertaking training for nursing and medical assistants, this has been the first visit to the newly founded College of Nursing and Midwifery. The link have provided training for the first year students, in mental health, emergency, trauma and first aid including practical sessions on resuscitation and midwifery. The general students and the student midwives have also had training, some of which has been delivered jointly between a College tutor and a Juba Link tutor. The team consists of Sandie Paice nursing and nursing education advisor to Juba Link, Karen Newton maxilofacial nurse, France Reed midwife and Bob Marks mental health and learning disability nurse .
Nurse leadership is key to the proper organisation of the hospital, and Sandie with the support of Dr David Atwood, was able to rustle up a daily attendance of 31 Sisters and head nurses for a 3 day leadership course . In all 41 people attended and the sessions were a resounding success, Sandie is very indebted to Sr Anna Martin who provided translation services, and Sr Lorna who took advertising for the event around the wards. It was hugely impressive that so many sisters and head nurses attended from their busy wards.
Bob has been providing students with their first training in mental health. This is currently academic as nurses get no hands on experience in Psychiatry because the service is not yet fully developed .
Indeed concerns are that patients with serious mental health conditions are more likely to find themselves in Juba prison, than ward 11 the small psychiatric ward in the grounds of the hospital . Very positively this concern has been taken up by Wani Mani CEO who has asked the link to put together a proposal for a dedicated psychiatric unit within the grounds of Juba Teaching Hospital . Work will commence with key individuals involved in the care of mentally ill patients in Juba, and expertise put in from Juba Link staff and other mental health professionals. The conditions of the Psychiatric wing of the prison have been a long running concern, and a solution for the proper treatment of mental health patients would ensure that there is parity with general medicine .
Sandie and Bob visited the new private hospital courtesy of Dr Wani Mena and Dr Ronald Woro. It is a developing facility and there may be the potential for a placement for students there and for the staff at the private hospital to have an exchange visit to Juba teaching hospital. This would allow sharing of ideas and expertise. Next week teaching continues and there will be meetings with hospital, college and Ministry of Health staff. There will also be time spent on wards to work with ward sisters and nurse leaders to embed the leadership principles. With still one more week to go hopefully further success will follow .
The group continues to be grateful for the warm hospitality shown to them by all the Ministry, college and hospital staff . We return to the UK on the 19th November but hope that a further mental health visit will take place early next year .