Inspirational. That’s how I would sum up my experience at Haydom with only one word. Seeing the dedication of the hospital staff on saving lives at Haydom Lutheran Hospital was truly a rewarding experience.
The journey from Stavanger to Haydom was long, using almost every means of transportation from jumbo jets and cars to small planes with an only 6-men-capacity including the pilot. This was not a leisure trip, we did this journey to bring and install a few Laerdal Newborn Resuscitation Monitors to the hospital, so we had a quite important task. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with such joy and enthusiasm, and it was clear that they had been anticipating the first fruits of this project.
To not lose any time, we started working immediately since we wanted to get the best out of our three day stay at Haydom. From day one, everything went smoothly until our departure. Quite the rare thing in Tanzania, I was told. I took that as a good sign. While installing the Newborn Resuscitation Monitors in the labor rooms, we were simultaneously giving training to two bright research nurses on the purpose and use of the monitors. These research nurses successfully trained the rest of the maternity staff. Everyone was very curious to see if the monitor would provide what was promised a year ago. Shortly, the curiosity turned into confidence and it was very rewarding to see the product being used in the actual setting.
Despite my short stay, I had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Fortunata and Editha, two of the midwives. Becoming friends and earning their trust felt just as important as understanding their professional needs and desires. Experiencing the environment first-hand made me truly understand the challenges the staff at Haydom face every day. Seeing the products being used in context and understanding the daily work-flow provided invaluable knowledge on what is really needed in different situations. Kind of knowledge which is impossible to grasp without being in the field. I could truly see how Laerdal’s products came to use where it is needed the most. There are still many lives to save and we have a huge responsibility to provide products relevant for the need.
Despite the difficult reality of battling the high mortality rate of the newborns in Haydom, I feel very inspired after seeing their tremendous efforts, true dedication on saving lives, and their ability to always share a smile. There are miracles happening every day at Haydom and I am really excited about the possibilities ahead. I am sending my deepest greetings to the wonderful people that I encountered during my stay at Haydom.
Cenk Aytekin, Industrial Designer at Laerdal Medical