It's the little things that do it ... or better, that secretly takes a lot of time! In the thousand-and-one things that you have to think about when you travel (from suitable clothing to anti-malaria pills, from the right dollars to world plugs), in our case, of course, also the travel preparation of the ultrasound device and the to map out the itinerary and the program.
While you are doing that, you will soon see tasks on your to-do list that you did not see coming. Who would have thought, for example, that a Philips Lumify from America would have a Dutch manual? Not so handy in Tanzania, but luckily a request for an English language is sent quickly ... And then there is also the other side of the line. In Tanzania, the competent authorities agree that the ultrasound device can actually be taken on the Mama bus and used by nurse / midwives.
In between the companies we also purchased the tablet that the ultrasound robot should control. Now it is still necessary to install the necessary software and the connection with the Lumify has to be made. In the Netherlands we work with a Dutch SIM card for the 3G network, but in Tanzania we will of course have to work with a local card. To be well prepared and to know that everything works, we plan a practice session in one of the echo rooms of star-shl, the company that also supported us in the purchase of our equipment.
Because we do not only want to share equipment, but also knowledge, we have also taken the necessary time to create a training program. We have made some kind of First Aid with Echo kit, which contains all the tools you need to make prenatal ultrasound in a bus in the Tanzanian countryside really useful.
Of course, our journey is not only prepared from a distance. In Tanzania, our local partners work hard to prepare for the visit of the foundation. In Arusha, a team is preparing a meeting around a business plan for a Mama bus with ultrasound device and trained staff in two regions. In Moshi, the final touches are placed on what we have come to call the Mama bus 2.0, a new concept for the Mama bus, now with echo device, prenatal controls, vaccinations and health education and education.
The official launch of the Mama bus 2.0 will be given in the presence of the various partners involved and the regional medical officer. That requires some presents, which naturally also have to be given a place in the suitcase. Is that to-do list unnoticed yet a bit longer ...
The concrete travel schedule is taking shape in the meantime. Dates have been taken care of, stays arranged, flights booked and those involved are invited. It seems far away, but in less than 2 weeks, on 10 October, Anna Lied and I (on behalf of Stichting Mount Meru) and Suus (on behalf of Stichting Driving Nurses) fly to Tanzania. We will send a message again.