A doctor who works part-time as an infectious diseases’ consultant at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust’s (LNWH) Ealing and Northwick Park Hospitals is back from her latest three month assignment working for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Tigray, a small northern town in Ethiopia, supporting a community recovering from a two-year war.
It was Victoria Parris’ second visit to the region where she worked in a local health clinic for the medical humanitarian organisation.
The clinic, which supported 100 people a day offers a four-bed emergency room, a maternity ward and treatment for survivors of sexual violence.
Ms Parris said: “You have to be able to think on your feet and turn your hand to anything. It is challenging but also rewarding to know you are making a difference. My role included triaging patients who needed to go to the nearest hospital a two-hour drive away; securing a supply of anti-venom to treat snake bites; and setting up a courier service to deliver sputum samples from patients with suspected TB. You certainly don’t get bored.”
Previous three month stints for Ms Parris have also included working during an Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, tackling Diphtheria in Bangladesh and spells in Armenia and Ukraine.