Where to even start… There were eight of us 2nd-year midwifery students who were travelling to Tanzania. At first, I felt very uneasy with this decision as I honestly never saw myself travelling to Africa, but I’m so glad I did. This trip was a once in a lifetime experience, and I miss it dearly every single day.
The midwifery care in Tanzania was very different to midwifery care at home, as you’d expect.
They bring all their own supplies, including kanga wraps for their babies which are so beautiful! The first few days were definitely challenging… but I adjusted quickly.
We had many challenging days. These health professionals are accustomed to these difficult situations, and I’m certainly not, which definitely made things hard when you’re putting on a brave face. However, they are kind and willing to let you learn. We got to see breech births (one woman even birthed breech twins!), cord prolapse, instrumental deliveries, caesareans, and neonatal resuscitation.
The Work the World team in Tanzania were absolutely amazing! They always made sure we were safe and gave us advice when we were planning our weekend trips. They had wonderful recommendations and were the most open-minded people. Often, after a really hard day on placement, they would just debrief with you, make sure you were okay and continue to talk to you about it… and that’s all we needed.
Our Swahili teacher, my goodness. If I could take one thing from Tanzania it would’ve been him. He is a ball of joy and made every lesson so exciting. The housekeeping and kitchen staff were all so humble and always willing to have a chat!
It’s a life-changing experience that helped me both personally and professionally.
I feel like I haven’t even covered half the things I wanted to say or that I experienced. But I can only strongly encourage you if you’re thinking about doing this, especially as a midwifery student, to do it! It’s a life-changing experience that helped me both personally and professionally. This trip was 100% out of my comfort zone, and I think that’s what pushed me to do it even more.