Anne Engtrø Husby

When did you stay at Masanga? 
Last two weeks of February 2013

What was your motivation for going to Masanga?
My motivation was a combination of idealism and egoism.

I have always had the understanding that it is a duty for me who have been lucky enough to be born in Norway to share. Share money, time, knowledge, experience.  To teach obstetrics/midwifery is for me a very good way of sharing. I know the knowledge is needed, and at the same time I also learn from my students’ experience.

I have lived in Sierra Leone before, so a part of my motivation was also to go back to a country I have learned to love. For the moment I cannot commit to stay for months or years due to my children’s education. To go on short term missions yet with a long term goal, is therefore ideal for me.

What was your first meeting with Masanga like?
It felt like coming home, yet the people were unknown to me.

What was your main duties while at the hospital?
Teaching STP-students on normal vs. obstructed deliveries, the partograph and neonatal resuscitation. I was also assisting dr.Maria Milland in her obstetrics teaching with skills training and simulated emergency situations. When there were no lectures and there were cases in the labour room I tried to observe and guide the students in practical deliveries and use of the partograph.

What have you learned from this experience?
I have learned that I can contribute something in education programmes also on this higher level. I have refreshed my skills in different obstetric emergencies, because you always learn when you teach.

What is your advice to others that are thinking about going to Sierra Leone and Masanga?
If you are healthy, motivated, flexible and ready to work hard under very different circumstances than you are used to, don’t think. Just do it!

But: Bear in mind that it takes time to learn to know people, hospital, country, culture… Go with a humble mind, there are normally reasons why things are done in certain ways. You would not like anyone staying in your country for 2-3 weeks to tell you how to run your hospital!!