From Finland to Tanzania

A nursing adventure

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Practice continues…..

My first few weeks in practice have been interesting, entertaining, frustrating and sometimes sad.  One of the premature babies had died because the hospital didn’t have the resources to take care of the baby.  Also, geriatric care is very limited compared to Finland.  I think this is because life expectancy is so short here : 58 years compared to 79 years in Finland.  I have read that the percentage of 65+ in Finland is 17% and in Tanzania it is less than 3%.  The leading causes of deaths in Tanzania are HIV/AIDs, malaria, pneumonia, stroke, diarrheal diseases and coronary heart disease, whereas in Finland they are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, dementia and alzheimers disease, respiratory diseases and alcohol-related diseases.  As life expectancy is improving in Tanzania, I think there will be more need for geriatric expertise in nursing as more of the age related diseases will become more common.

On the upside, I have been at  a caesarean section and 3 deliveries and I have seen several operations in the operating theatre.

I have also cannulated,done injections and helped to prepare the IV lines, medication and documentation.  I have only ever used computers to document patients records, so it has been quite challenging and time-consuming to read and write everything!

We have also visited the baby clinic in the hospital, which is well run and has lots of information about pregnancy, contraception and HIV in mothers and babies.  Mothers and children come here during pregnancy and for follow up monitoring and immunizations, HIV testing etc.

The hospital has many positive sides such as the well baby clinics and treating malaria and HIV but I think it will be challenging in the future as life expectancy increases for the health services to care for elderly people and age-related diseases.

Here are some more pictures from the hospital


As you can see, the equipment is basic, like I said before.  Hygiene and handwashing are of different standards.  There are no proper soap or hand sanitizers to wash your hands and no kind of paper towels to dry them.  There is also an interesting array of animal life in the hospital.  There are birds nesting in the walls, cockroaches scuttling across the emergency room floor and we even saw a  baby gecko sat on the anesthesia equipment during an operation.  I don’t think the anesthetist even noticed!