Knitted hats for babies in Tanzania

Student midwife, Natalie Bell, from Southampton University, is travelling to Tanzania for a month to work in the maternity block of a government-funded hospital.  Volunteers have been extremely busy knitting baby hats and blankets for the newborns.  One such volunteer is the mother of Hamble Heights’ Home Manager, Michelle…

Natalie Bell explains her trip to Tanzania….

“I am a second year student midwife going to Tanzania to work in a hospital in the city of Dar es Salam. This is the biggest city in eastern Africa. In Africa resources are limited and health care usually comes at a cost in which many cannot afford. The Amana hospital is government funded with very basic resources and little medication available.

I will be working for four weeks in the maternity block to assist with around 100 deliveries a day. In comparison, there is an average of 16 deliveries a day at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Southampton. Staff shortage is a major concern and due to the high volume of patients. There are 2-3 women sharing one bed.

I elected to do this placement as I wanted to assist and develop my skills further from a different cultural and environmental perspective. I know I will not be able to change, teach or help the outlook of this hospital. However, I will be able to care for patients and help assist staff in there exhausting but extremely rewarding practice. 

I have funded this trip myself and have been extremely overwhelmed with the generosity of people who have knitted baby hats and blankets for me to bring out to the hospital. These donations are extremely resourceful as most of these women cannot provide these basic needs for their new-borns.”

The knitting challenge!

Michelle’s mother, Mary Newcombe, is one of the kind volunteers who has been dedicated to knitting countless baby hats, jumpers and blankets.  Natalie came to Hamble Heights to thank Mary for giving up her time to help.  Natalie was incredibly impressed with the array of knitted pieces.

Mary said, “It is a very worthy cause and when I heard about Natalie’s work experience in Tanzania, I wanted to help.  I really enjoyed the knitting challenge!  I know they will be appreciated and put to good use when Natalie takes them to the maternity ward.”

Natalie left for Tanzania on Friday 15th July.  Mary Newcombe and everyone at Hamble Heights wishes Natalie all the very best!