Showing posts from September, 2014

Leaving Uganda

Wow, where did those 10 days go?!  Monday and Tuesday have been a whirlwind, visiting DFID and the Commissioner for Nursing and Midwifery at the Ministry of Health then finally facilitating a workshop with the external stakeholders of the midwives' association.  This included representatives from various universities, the Ministry of Health, the Nurses and Midwives Union, the Ugandan Nurses and Midwives Council, The White Ribbon Alliance and various NGOs such as White Ribbon Alliance and AMREF.

I'm flying home tonight and going straight from Heathrow to the office where I'm meeting a delegation of high level health representatives from Malawi, including the President of the Association of Malawian Midwives (AMM).  Jacque Gerrard, the RCM's Director for England will be joining our meeting and we're really excited as we have just submitted a bid for some work in Malawi with the AMM.  After the meeting I'll be travelling to Birmingham by train to attend a two day …

Saturday... pausing for breath

I have moved out of the hotel to stay with my long-time friends Deborah and Philip Betts and their lovely family who live here in Uganda.  Deborah and I went to school together and our parents were friends long before that, so our ties go way back.  Such friendships are so precious.  Their beautiful house and garden in the suburbs of Kampala is providing a much-needed oasis for me to gather my thoughts, reflecting on the achievements and challenges of the past week and planning my last few days so that when I step on the plane in the early hours of Wednesday morning we will be on track to achieve our objectives here in the last six months of our programme.

Last week continued to involve delicate negotiation, ensuring that I can achieve what is necessary during my short time here without compromising the programme for our volunteers. By nature a capacity building project means that the Ugandan Midwives Association has limited capacity... the imposition of four UK midwives on short-ter…

Fried Blobby Fish and other Ugandan Stories

Here I am in Uganda for my fourth visit in 18 months.  I was feeling particularly anxious prior to my trip as we approach the end of our programme and need to show that we have achieved our objectives and provided value for money.  I have travelled previously with other members of RCM staff or external consultants; this time I have a dauntingly long list of objectives to achieve my myself.  However, I am happily overlapping with four of our UK midwife volunteers, two of whom (Tricia and Sue) flew out with me from Heathrow.  It's great to be staying in the Kolping Hotel together and to have arrived in the middle of the night with other people rather than on my own.

Ebola defences were in evidence at the airport; we were met by a wall of nurses in uniform, wellies, masks and gloves who made us sanitise our hands and checked our temperatures before we passed through immigration.  We also had to complete a long checklist to rule out any suspicious symptoms of disease! Thankfully UPMA&…