By Arabela Paduraru, Clinical Leader – Anaesthetics

A Journey to Myanmar

I don’t know what was in my head when I said to Stuart that ill write for the blog. It’s proving a real challenge converting overwhelming emotions into words.. but here it goes.

Let me start by introducing myself and how I got to meet Stuart and Livi, two amazing nurses that spread time, knowledge and passion in the beautiful Yangon.

My name is Arabela Paduraru, and I work as an operating department practitioner in Addenbrookes Hospital. In November I had the privilege of going on a scoping visit to the Specialist hospital in Yangon, to understand how their liver transplantation system works with the vision of creating a new partnership initiative and facilitating a future transplant conference.

DelTICa team having local dinner in Yangon

I arrived in Yangon, together with a few members of the DelTICa (Delivering Trauma Intensive Care) team and the director of CGHP (Cambridge Global Health Partnerships). The course director was already waiting for us and shortly upon our arrival at the hotel, I had the pleasure of meeting Stuart, Livi and Jackie, good friends not just colleagues. Their relationship sparks ideas constantly. After we all had a delicious dinner, we soon got involved into the course and its logistics. Although I had a very good pre-brief, nothing could have explained to me the intensity of the week that was to follow.

The first two days were getting to know the way of the land, so to say. I met the Myanmar team that were part of the course, got the opportunity to attend a THET (Tropical Health Education Trust) meeting which helped me get a better understanding of the broader picture and got to know about the other CYTIP projects.

Whilst things were changing constantly, as meetings were being scheduled which required the attendance of different members of the team, everything found it’s place. The Myanmar faculty team was being supported in preparation for the delivery of the course.

The DelTIca team is a very well-oiled clock. Not just by the professionalism, knowledge and skill they share or their passion and commitment to the delivery of the course and cause but through their ability to work as a team, creating an environment which brings out the full potential in each member, from the morning coffee to the night time tea.

Simulating spinal cord injury positioning with course participants

Although we had time for ourselves, most of it was spent, by choice, discussing the course, overcoming the challenges encountered on the way and constantly searching for ways to improve.

As I said before, it was a very intense week. If in our day to day life we sometimes leave things to do for the next day, here, we did not have that option. As there were only a few days available, we took advantage of every minute. Every night we had dinner together, discovering though Livi and Stuart, some secret gems hidden in the heart of Yangon and tasting the wonderful burmese cuisine.

Some might not have approved and thought us crazy but some of us got up early morning one day and whilst enjoying the sunrise over Yangon, some went rowing, others went running. Mens sana in corpore sano, as the latin saying goes. Not only the view was beautiful but yet another proof of good teamworking and empowering leadership.