Last week, we met the six nurses who have flown out to Cape Verde to complete a six-week work experience placement in the Hospital Ramiro Figueira. With the help of Dr Monica at Medical Services SA and the University of Nottingham, the six nurses were placed at the Espartos-based hospital to aid those who work on the frontline of Cape Verdean healthcare. Dr Monica and her colleagues are based in MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort & Spa, where the medical team helps guests in need.
Jasmin, Kieren, Lauren, Kim, Alys and Julie are all halfway through their nursing qualification – in their second year of a 3-year course – and they are all studying Adult Field Nursing at the University of Nottingham. The course includes a six week placement and Cape Verde as a destination for this was a first for the university. The placement came about after a holiday at MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort and Spa in September last year, where Lauren met owner Rob Jarrett, that the wheels where put in motion.
Having spent a couple of weeks at the hospital now, the group is in the flow of a normal working day. It starts at 8am, when they are all driven to Espargos and go to their different departments, where they’ve been placed in pairs. It’s back to the Resort for a spot of lunch and then straight off to the hospital again for the afternoon. It’s been a learning experience for everyone in many different ways, “most of the nurses we’re working with are keener to learn English from us than teach us Creole or Portuguese but we’re trying to pick up as much of the language that we can.” They were also overjoyed to be in Cape Verde during National Health Day on 7th April – where the Islands celebrate healthcare professionals.
Healthcare in Cape Verde can be limited. Hospitals are few and far between, understaffed with low resources and facing a growing population. Everything is stretched even tighter in the areas serviced by local clinics rather than hospitals. Jasmin, Kieren, Lauren, Kim, Alys and Julie have all expressed their desire to see the Islands better funded and stocked with medical equipment but also their huge respect for the people who work determinedly with very little to provide the best care possible.
It has been a priority to see the Island during time off from the hospital. So far, they’ve been to Santa Maria and on an Island tour. There’s been plenty of sunbathing, as well as horse riding, biking and hiking excursions. Dr Monica has also taken them to the local clinics so they could get an idea of the level of care in the communities outside of the hospital and the hotel. The six thought it was important to take the time to visit Espartos village too, where they handed out gifts and toys they had brought with them to local children.
The whole experience has been incredible so far and all six of them would like to thank Dr Monica profusely for her part in organising it.
Another thank you goes to The Resort Group for their stay at MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort & Spa, where they’ve been living during the work experience, they said they’d happily recommend it to family and friends. Julie is particularly taken – all the nurses would love to visit the Islands again but she’s keen to move out to Cape Verde!
Come back soon for more news on the nurses are getting on in Cape Verde.