A key part of our mission is to build capacity in the healthcare systems in each of the countries in which we work and so, since our inception, we have trained nurses, anaesthetists and doctors in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Madagascar and Kenya.
We only use international staff in our projects when a) there is no one or not enough people in-country with the skills to do the job or b) to train and upskill national staff to do the job in the long-term in order build sustainability.
Since 2008, FFF has trained more than 500 nurses, doctors and anaesthestists in Africa and this will remain an integral part of our work in the future.
Chisomo (26) is a clinical officer at our Fistula Care Centre in Malawi. He started working with us in 2015 having worked at both the Ministry of Health and in the health insurance industry developing a passion for the provision of women's healthcare to those most in need.
With the help of doctors and visiting surgeons he has now been trained to undertake fistula repair surgeries and says he loves what he does because he has been given an opportunity to contribute to the development of his country by taking care of women who were stigmatised in the community. His favorite part of the job is surgery and health education. He enjoys counselling women before and after surgery on their life going forward.
His advice to women in Malawi is to get an education. He believes that when women are educated and empowered, they can make choices on when and how to have children. An education would teach them family planning and give them a better understanding of why family planning is important.
In the future he would like to reach out to the districts and work with the people on the ground. By empowering local health professionals and community leaders, there can be more preventative measures for obstetric fistula and maternal health.
We are thankful to Chisomo for his hard work providing care and healing to women and girls in Malawi.