Compassion in Action: Teaching Safe Birthing in Tanzania

One individual’s compassion towards the suffering of other people can create a ripple effect. Like dropping a pebble into a pond, a single moment of caring can flow outwards incrementally, eventually affecting an entire population. Maureen is a volunteer physician with the Global Health Service Partnership in Tanzania, and is an example of how one person’s actions can create far-reaching and long-lasting change. She is one of 27 committed US doctors and nurses teaching in nursing and medical schools in Africa.

Like many places in the world, Tanzania has an inadequate healthcare system due to lack of medications, clinics, and trained professionals. Especially daunting is that in Tanzania one woman dies each hour due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. These complications arise from lack of access to well-equipped clinics and skilled professionals, and the societal norms of early marriage and pregnancy.

Maureen is addressing the high maternal mortality rate by training local men and women in obstetrics and gynecology. By teaching trainees, volunteers like Maureen are helping to improve clinical education, expanding the base of physician and nursing educators, and building a skilled healthcare system in a country that has a critical shortage of healthcare providers. Mauree has taught dozens of local providers to offer safe and competent care in a resource-limited country. Her compassionate teaching and practice of medicine have created a ripple effect on the lives of so many underserved women and babies.

Hospital Clinic in Tanzania

For more information of this remarkable doctor’s experiences and reflections on the work volunteer physicians are doing in Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi then follow this link:

Randi Powell

Global Force for Healing Intern

OHSU Senior Nursing Student

Member of Nursing Students Without Borders



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