Two staff members from Kawana Private Hospital are using their medical skills to change lives in West Africa, as they jump aboard a floating hospital to volunteer for Mercy Ships.
Anaesthetic Team Leader Ivan Whitehead and Anaesthetic Registered Nurse Samantha Hamill set sail at the end of June.
Kawana Private Hospital CEO/Director of Nursing Claudia Teunissen said both her and the whole KPH team are really proud of Mr Whitehead’s and Ms Hamill’s generosity and tenacity.
“In Australia we are so privileged to have an excellent healthcare system, yet I recognise the challenges other countries face when it comes to accessing even just a basic level of care,” Ms Teunissen said.
“This is why we both encourage and support our staff to embark on charitable endeavours like this and provide a difference in third world countries.”
Known as ‘vessels of hope’ both the Africa Mercy and Global Mercy will be docked in Dakar, Senegal this year where qualified volunteers will perform surgeries and continue training with local healthcare workers.
A range of procedures will be carried out including eye surgery, orthopaedics, tumour removal, plastic surgery including burns and cleft lips, maxillofacial and reconstructive surgery, and obstetric fistula repair.
“Mr Whitehead and Ms Hamill are excellent at their respective roles so I know that the patients they care for in West Africa will be in the very best hands,” Ms Teunissen said.
“To be able to share their skills and the exceptional values we have here at Kawana Private Hospital with the world is truly admirable.”
Mr Whitehead, who has previously volunteered with the organisation, will spend six weeks aboard.
Ms Hamill will spend three weeks on the ship before then heading to Tanzania to volunteer at a women’s community hospital for a further three weeks.
For more information visit https://curagroup.com.au/kawana-private-hospital/about-kawana-private-hospital or https://mercyships.org.au/