Tara to spend six weeks nursing in two remote Tanzanian clinics

Tara McCann who is heading off to Tanzania
Tara McCann who is heading off to Tanzania

A local nurse is taking unpaid leave from Craigavon Area Hospital to work in one of the poorest countries in Africa and is seeking your help.

Tara McCann who currently works in the Recovery Department is heading to Tanzania to work in two clinics for six weeks.

The 41-year-old was inspired by a friend from down south who had been working in clinics in Tanzania with the Our Lady of Apostles Missionaries - the female side to the SMA Fathers in Tanzania.

And now Tara plans to go out to Buigisi on October 1 using up four weeks’ holidays and taking two weeks of unpaid leave.

“It’s a job lot, just whatever comes through the door. You could be dealing with wounds, delivering babies and dealing with malaria,” said Tara, who explained that AIDS will be very much part of what she will be dealing with.

There are two clinics, one in Buigisi which is a town and then another out in the sticks a two-hour drive away.

Asked why she wanted to do this, she said modestly that she just had the opportunity.

“I would be of the character that would want to be passing it on. If you are trained up to do something, why not pass it on to those who maybe can’t afford to do it. There are a lot of complaints in the NHS at the moment,” said Tara.

She believes that those in Africa may be a little more appreciative of her work.

“Not that you are looking thanks but it is appreciated more, I think, and it’s going to go further,” she said.

Her family, particularly her mum Patricia and dad Peter and her brothers and sisters, are very supportive, as are her colleagues who have warned her not to overdo it.

Tara explained that it has taken her two years to organise this trip.

She said that while it is more common for people to go out to Africa to teach, it is less common for nurses to go to Africa from here as there is no real link. She is hoping that with her experiences she will be able to open that door for other nurses who wish to travel in future.

She is also hoping that they will find her skills useful and she will be able pass them on.