Nurses Travel From Malawi to South Africa for Training

  • Sister Bridgette Nsusa and Sister Felista Chisale

In 2018, World Child Cancer teamed up with The Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa, to begin a project to send pairs of childhood cancer nurses from Sub-Saharan referral hospitals to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RXCH) in South Africa, for vital training.

The project is funded by World Child Cancer and the first pair of nurses, Sister Bridgette Nsusa and Felista Chisale, travelled to South Africa from Malawi’s Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) earlier this year, completing a six-week training course.

Before the training, Sisters Nsusa and Chisale highlighted the key challenges they faced in their current practice in Malawi. These predominantly revolved around a lack of resources such as equipment and medication. One of the key learnings from the course was therefore about learning to work more efficiently and effectively with the resources they do have available. Sister Nsusa commented;

‘Availability is a problem, but we will see how we can utilize what we have. We can see what our friends [others in similar work environments] are doing.’

The nurses also talked of donated equipment which is often left at their hospital without any support or instructions on how to use it. The training gave the nurses a chance to learn how to use or make better use of this equipment with the aim of enabling them to deliver a better quality of care when returning to Malawi.

Finally, the nurses also learned about the importance of data management – keeping patient files up-to-date and how to improve infection control with simple steps such as using antibacterial hand rub when water may not be available.

Aside from the more technical teachings, the nurses felt they benefited from observing the comprehensive, holistic nature of the care at RXCH and the team’s strong sense of teamwork.

‘They create a friendly environment, like a home from home that works for everyone, and I’ve found that to be one of the best things I’ve seen here.’

The training has not only provided the nurses with an invaluable learning experience on pediatric oncology but has given them new ideas and ways of working to take back to their team in Malawi.

It is only thanks to your support that we can fund the training of nurses like Sisters Nsusa and Sister Chisale. Donate today and you can continue to support the training of healthcare professionals around the world and ultimately give more children the Gift of Growing Up.