Health professionals from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have been training medical staff in a rural region of Lesotho.
Many women in Lesotho’s rural area of Quthing suffer complications giving birth, which are often made even more challenging by the high rates of HIV, so the training sessions are tailored to improve midwives and health centre staff skills.
On this occasion, over 15 members of health staff from 8 Health Centres received the essential training.
Grant funding also enabled some of the Lesotho based Health Management Team to visit Wales to share their learning and to develop their leadership skills with one to one mentoring.
The ongoing work is part of the Betsi-Quthing Health Partnership that has been running for six years.
The Partnership offered a 2-week placement to a midwifery student from Bangor University. This is part of its commitment to NHS staff learning for the benefit of the people of Wales. Charelle Tilley won this place though her passion for her chosen career and returned with huge respect for midwives in Lesotho. She said: “I am amazed how hard nurses and midwives work in Lesotho, and how committed they are. Everyone was so warm and friendly to us and appreciated our training so much”
Aaron Pritchard from the Betsi-Quthing Partnership said: “Working in the remote parts of the country can often be a logistical challenge, but the dedication and hard work of the health staff in Lesotho was inspirational.
“We always learn so much from our visits and building those face to face relationships means that by using simple mobile apps, we can stay in contact and support each other.”
The project was supported by Hub Cymru Africa with funding from the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.
Hannah Sheppard, Development Manager at Hub Cymru Africa said: “The Welsh team have benefitted from developing and planning a wide-ranging training programme in a challenging environment.
“They have returned to Wales enthused and motivated and with a lot of practical skills and lessons they can now put to good use in their own practices.”
The project is currently looking at developing distance learning resources in partnership with Bangor University, so that Wales based staff can help support training programmes, without having to travel to Lesotho.