Health Caravan in Moshi: A New Face on the Team

By: Sasha Fraser

Last week I volunteered in a health caravan near Moshi, Tanzania. It was organized by Pamoja Tunaweza (Together we can) , a non governmental organization (NGO) started by two doctors from Queens university. The goal of the caravan was to provide free health care to people in underserved , rural areas and on most days we saw 240 women, children and men. My dad was one of the doctors on the team.

I worked as part of the triage team and a woman named Chrissy from Sudbury was my team leader. My jobs changed every day but included:

-numbering patients charts

-weighing people, including infants which can be tricky

-directing people to care stations

-assisting elderly people (bibis and babus) to move through the caravan stations and receive their medications

-counting out medications which were dispensed

-helping the main Tanzanian triage person, Diallo, with crowd control

-feeding the doctors and nurses Tanzanian doughnuts (mandazis) so they wouldn’t be too exhausted

I felt the experience was demanding, tiring, dusty and worthwhile. Seeing the gratitude of people after they were helped was satisfying and I really admired the energy and good teamwork of the other Canadians I was with. I was the youngest and the oldest caravan member must have been nearly 70 years old.

I hope I will return to help with future caravans , perhaps as a pediatrician after I have finished all my training.

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