The 2015 Helena Goldie Project team recently returned from the first of two visits they will make to the Solomon Islands this year.
Rev Helen Dick, Director of Mission and Helena Goldie Project Leader, said it was a great trip with beautiful weather and wonderful people.
“As usual the team worked really hard and made great relationships with the college students and the nursing staff. It was great to see them capture the interest of the students – even with a subject as dry as epidemiology!” she said.
“The local nurses at the hospital are doing an amazing job without a doctor, but they really appreciated the visit from Dr David Coman. As well as the patient care, he was able to offer them feedback and reassurance that they were doing the right things.”
Helen said one of the highlights of the trip was seeing the faces of Trish Woods and Tracey Saxton, the newest Helena Goldie team members, after they helped in a birth at the hospital.
For Trish, despite her years of nursing, it was the first time she had witnessed the birth of a baby.
“They were both awed by the skill of the assistants in nursing and the midwife who delivered the baby girl without the aid of a doctor,” Helen said.
What made the birth even more special was that following complications during the labour, the baby was only able to be safely delivered with the aid of a ‘Kiwi Cup’. A Kiwi Cup is a vacuum assisted fetal delivery device - the cup is placed on a baby’s head to assist with its delivery.
The Helena Goldie Hospital’s only supply of these cups were donated by nurses from The Wesley Hospital who went without their International Nurses Day cupcake so the money could be used to purchase the device.
“It just shows the amazing power of what seems like a small gesture - our UnitingCare Health family really are helping to save lives in the Solomons,” Helen said.
Each year UnitingCare Health staff travel to the Munda province of the Solomon Islands to teach at the Helena Goldie College of Nursing and to deliver much needed equipment.
This support leads to more registered nurses thereby building the healthcare system to the benefit of all Solomon Islanders.
For more information about the Helena Goldie Project, visit the Helena Goldie webpages here.