As UK-based trustee Sallie Buck reaches the halfway point of her one month visit to Buburi, we catch up with her to find out about her hopes for the clinic in 2012.
FOB: How often do you come out to the clinic?
SB: The trustees come regularly throughout the year; we try to make at least three or four visits. This is my 6th visit to the clinic since I first got involved in 2007. As I am retired I am fortunate to be able to spend a month here at a time. It’s important we come regularly to ensure the smooth running of the clinic, offer advice and support to the clinic staff and committee members and maintain good relationships with the Public Health Department and Ministry of Health.
FOB: When were you last at the clinic and what has changed?
SB: I was last here in July 2011. I’m pleased to see that the clinic is looking really good and is becoming more professional. We employed enrolled nurse Esther during my last visit and I was please to see this time how she’s really settled in with the team. She’s become more confident as a leader and is now well respected by the community and Public Health Department.
FOB: What are your main objectives for this trip?
SB: During all our visits the number one priority is ensuring the basic running of the clinic, which involves staff salaries and maintaining a fully stocked pharmacy. Also during this trip I hope to recruit a new nurse to provide support for Esther as she can see up to 100 patients in a day. I’ll also continue training with the clinic team and community health workers. Securing a supply of water and electricity for the clinic has now become a priority too so I’ll be working on that over the next couple of weeks.
FOB: What do the trustees hope to achieve in 2012?
SB: We really keen to expand our team of community health workers. They’re vital to raising awareness about health related issues with the community and as our catchment area grows our community health workers have to travel further and further. We’d also like for them to be better equipped to deal with minor ailments during their visits. We need to secure funding so that we can put a ceiling into the clinic, as well as water and electricity. With enough funding we hope to build an extension to the clinic which will enable them to run more consultations, have a laboratory and provide maternity services.
FOB: What’s the best bit about your trips to the clinic?
SB: Definitely knowing we’re doing a good job, especially seeing the clinic become more professional and sustainable with every visit. Speaking to the patients and community is really encouraging. I always feel so privileged to be accepted into their community and I’m determined to keep their trust and respect.