Two sisters who work at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital have spent four weeks volunteering their knowledge and time at clinic in India caring for the poor.
Joanne Taylor, 34, and Nikita Foster, 31, are both healthcare assistants working on wards 4A and 4B in the Royal, but wanted to use four weeks of their annual leave to help those less fortunate in Faridabad near Delhi.
“Having just applied for medical school, I wanted to experience how health care works in more under privileged regions,” said Nikita. “We decided to travel to India for four weeks to try and help those less fortunate than ourselves."
For the sisters, their first day at clinic was a shock, as medications and supplies were at a bare minimum: “Our clinic was facing a rubbish dump and was an outside area with a corrugated tin roof. It was extremely unsanitary and we often had some rodent visitors."
Both Jo and Nikita would see approximately 250 patients a day, which ranged from adults and babies to children and the elderly. Many patients suffered with pneumonia, wounds, rashes, slipped discs, fevers and arthritis.
"Those patients had no access to hospital and were happy to be fully examined by ourselves and have a little help from strangers,” said Jo. “We were able to use our skills learnt here at the Royal such as wound care, manual blood pressure and basic observations."
Their older sister, Mandy Taylor, also works at the Trust. Mandy had been keeping up to date with both of her sisters during their travels while looking after Nikita’s two children.
“Everything they have learnt here at the Royal they have taken out there with them to help others. They both loved it; they didn’t want to come back! We have already decided that we are going to go back and I will go with them along with the kids – it’s a once in a lifetime experience for them.”
"We went to India with an open mind and open heart knowing we were not going to change the world. We return home different people and will most definitely appreciate what we have and appreciate our NHS."
The sisters also raised funds to provide clinic supplies, protein and vitamin supplements for the 250 slum children they saw at their camp.
“We would like to thank 4A, 4B and 8A staff for their donations. You are all amazing. Just seeing those people smile from the little help we gave us something that will stay with us forever. It was the most life changing experience and we cannot wait to go back 2019.”