Marie always wanted to study, but life caught up with her and before she knew it she was married and pregnant. After loosing her first child shortly after it was born, due to lack of medical aid, her husband and her agreed that she should peruse higher education. That is when she decided health care was what she wanted to pursue, and she began studying to be a nurse.
“In my village there is not always a doctor available for everyone. After experiencing this situation first hand with the loss of my child, I felt in my heart that I wanted to become a nurse. For this reason I decided to try and become a midwife.”
While Marie was studying an announcement came to her school asking for nurses to work in the VVF clinic. Marie quickly wrote down her name and was invited for an interview. After giving birth to her second child, Mercy Ships invited Marie to come train wit them.
“Training with Mercy Ships was specialized in obstetric fistula. Training with Mercy Ships was something very different than my education experience. At the institute we did everything, like pediatric, general medical study, we studied everything…but at school We didn’t know how to treat it or why it happens. It was just a definition. But then when I did the training, I knew about it. What is that? Why is that happening? How to prevent that? We learned how to take care of women having the fistula. We were provided with great material from Mercy Ships and really learned how to cure and prevent these sicknesses.”
Marie is one of the many nurses that have been given the opportunity to train with the mentorship program. These unit partnerships offer in-depth mentoring to the whole team, teaching and building on similar concepts and thereby contributing to health system strengthening. In a multi-disciplinary (PUMP) setting (see below graph), teamwork and communication is modelled, messaging is consistent and deeper relationships can develop across a wider team and between individuals, enhancing the opportunity for sustained improvement.
It is our hope that after our ships leave port, local medical professionals, like Marie, can continue to provide hope and healing through the training they have received.