Mullingar doctor Michael Donovan departed for Tanzania last week as part of a new health volunteering project with international development organisation VSO Ireland.
Michael, who has been a consultant in general medicine and gastroenterology in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar since 1987, will be working alongside other health volunteers from around the world as an internal medicine specialist in the St Francis Referral Hospital in Ifakara in south central Tanzania. He is participating in a new type of VSO placement spending two weeks in Tanzania four times a year for three years.
Michael will play a critical role in training and mentoring student doctors and doctors in training to develop their skill sets with the objective of improving the standard of care they provide. In addition to training and mentoring, Michael will provide specialist consultant-level care to critically ill patients.
Speaking ahead of his departure, he said: “I am really looking forward to this opportunity with VSO. Allowing me to use the skills I developed in Ireland to support improvements in medical education in Tanzania is fantastic.
“Doctors and nurses of all types should seriously consider volunteering with VSO. There is a huge need in Africa and Asia in terms of access to quality healthcare but at the same time there is a huge opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to the future direction of communities.” added Michael, who has been an active member of the Westmeath Hospice since its foundation and is a keen cyclist and proud member of Lakeside Wheelers.
For more information or to register for an information event, please visit www.vso.ie.
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