From volunteer nurse to Great British Bake Off winner: David Atherton

Delivering a chance at life

©VSO/Suraj Shakya

Without engaging men, gender equality may be beyond our reach. Here’s why...

Men and women both need to be brought on board to create a #BalanceforBetter. Our experience shows that when men are engaged, they become active allies in the struggle for gender equality, writes VSO Gender Adviser Geeta Pradhan.

What about men?

Achieving gender parity means more than just empowering women - room needs to be made for them in the spaces they are excluded from, and that can only happen with the willingness of those currently at the top. These people tend to be men.

"A year I'll never forget"

A matter of life and death for one nurse in Uganda

Volunteer paediatrician examines a two year old

Every baby deserves a chance to live

Siobhán Neville and Peter O'Reilly, both paediatricians, have just returned from volunteering for six months in Lindi, Tanzania. Based across several local hospitals and health centres, they helped to improve neonatal mortality rates by assessing practices and recommending changes to support both mothers and newborns. In this blog post, Siobhán discusses the challenges and successes encountered on her placement.

Going above and beyond to save lives

Andrew Sesay is a Community Health Officer at Binkolo clinic, Sierra Leone. He’s often the first point of call for the thousands of people living in the community. He’s recently been working alongside Dr Padma, a VSO volunteer training local staff to improve maternal and neonatal healthcare. Andrew explains his role:

Community Health Officer Andrew with Dr Padma.

Newborn baby girl, minutes old, in the arms of her mother Akelo Kevin, 18 years.

Amazing moment volunteer brings a baby back to life

Newborn deaths and infection rates have plummeted since VSO opened this intensive care unit in northern Uganda three months ago for babies born too soon or too poorly. 

Warning: This article contains images of a newborn baby being resuscitated, which some readers may find upsetting.

This is the incredible moment a newborn baby fought for life. Thanks to VSO volunteers and supporters who helped set up a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), she survived.

Andrew Sesay with Dr Padma and patients
Peter Caton

Going above and beyond to save lives

Andrew Sesay is a Community Health Officer at Binkolo clinic, Sierra Leone. He’s often the first point of call for the thousands of people living in the community. He’s recently been working alongside Dr Padma, a VSO volunteer training local staff to improve maternal and neonatal healthcare. Andrew explains his role:

Volunteering after retirement: John gives something back in Cambodia

John William's elective year as a young doctor in Zambia led to a lifelong ambition to work abroad once he had retired. At 60, the end of his career as a consultant obstetrician, he was offered a three-month stint in Cambodia with VSO.

The placement made use of his lifetime's experience of management, teaching and clinical work to improve the healthcare services in three hospitals in obstetrics and gynaecology. It was challenging but rewarding and John, now 71, accepted a second VSO position in the country the following year.

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