Over August 2018, Dr Suzy Duckworth and her family travelled to the Nkhata Bay District of Malawi to volunteer with Ripple Africa, a charity working to improve the environment, healthcare and education in the local community.
Suzy was based at the charity’s site in Mwaya Beach but worked in rural health centers and hospitals, volunteering in several outpatient clinics and on labour wards.
One of her main objectives was to distribute and provide training on the CRADLE VSA devices that she purchased from Microlife using via a donation to the APC website. The 8 monitors were used in waiting rooms, as a ‘triage’ indicator but also on each woman in antenatal clinic, where they directly impacted on patient care.
It became apparent very early on that her incredibly generous gift could have a potentially huge impact on improving maternity care in the local area; previous to her arrival not a single woman had their blood pressure checked at any point during their pregnancy.
The moment Suzy described the VSA concept, clinical staff realized the potential and were extremely enthused to hear more and hugely grateful for the donation, as demonstrated by this feedback:
“we are so much grateful for the gift of the monitor’s that you gave us, now we are able to diagnose pregnancy induced hypertension cases, pre-eclampsia cases, severe preeclampsia and eclampsia cases. The monitors are helping us a lot in preventing complications of hypertension because we refer early to Bigger hospital. Thank you so much Suzy for rescuing”
Thanks to Suzy’s donation and work raising awareness of the importance of vital signs and dangers of pre-eclampsia, local clinical workers are now equipped with the tools and education to vastly improve maternal health outcomes in Nkhata Bay.
Although initial feedback was very positive, the clinics would love to have more devices in order to monitor blood pressure and vital signs of all their patients. Any donations to provide the people of Nkhata Bay with more of these potentially life-saving devices would be gratefully received by Suzy and the CRADLE team.
To read more about the incredible work carried out by Ripple Africa, click here