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Palliative care nurse hails learning trip to Ethiopia

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A Norfolk nurse has spent 10 weeks sharing her knowledge and skills with staff caring for palliative patients in Ethiopia.

Sue Mumford, a community specialist palliative care nurse based at Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust, travelled to Africa with her GP husband Jamie towards the end of last year.

They gained insight into the care delivered by charitable organisation Hospice Ethiopia and made recommendations and offered training to further improve the care being provided.

Ms Mumford said: “We spent a lot of time working on communication skills, as whether you’re in Norfolk or Ethiopia, patients reaching the end of their lives will ask the same questions.”

The visit was the second time they had been to Ethiopia, and was arranged as part of their employer’s twinning arrangements with Hospice Ethiopia.

Ms Mumford, who took a three-month unpaid sabbatical to complete the visit, said: “Although we went out there to teach the doctors and nurses, we ended up learning a lot ourselves as well.

“It gave us the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of palliative care needs in a resource-poor country, while our knowledge of managing the terminal phases of conditions such as HIV and AIDS has developed enormously, which in turn will help us deliver better care back home in Norfolk.”

Sue Mumford, a patient in Ethiopia, and Jamie Mumford

Sue Mumford, a patient in Ethiopia, and Jamie Mumford

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