STAFF at Dolgellau Hospital welcomed three senior African nurses to share their experiences of promoting good health and wellbeing in their areas.

The nurses from the Quthing District Lesotho have been on a two-week visit to north Wales to share learning as part of the Betsi Quthing International Health Link.

The link was established 10 years ago with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Lesotho as part of the Welsh Government ‘Wales for Africa Programme’, which has encouraged partnerships with sub-Saharan Africa.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board actively supports the partnership because of the “opportunities for health workers in Wales and in Africa to gain skills through mutual learning”.

Matron of Quthing Hospital, Moliehi Lekola, District TB co-ordinator at Quthing Hospital, Michael Mohlouoa and nursing sister at Makoae Health Centre, Mme Ipatleleng Mothokho were provided with a tour of Dolgellau Hospital and also learnt how we are promoting good health and wellbeing in the rural community.

Staff nurse, Anne Thomas at Dolgellau Hospital, said: “It was such a pleasure to welcome our visitors from Lesotho.

“We learnt so much from each other about how we address the health needs of our own communities, in particular that health education strategies to reach out to men are the same wherever we are.

“They also enjoyed a tour of the hospital and the chance to talk to staff in each department, followed by a lunch that included Bara Brith, Welsh cakes and locally sourced gifts.

“We have planned to keep in touch to share our experiences and we look forward to welcoming another group next year.”

Health workers in Lesotho face many challenges.

Almost one in four adults has HIV, and TB is very common and maternal mortality is high.

However, there is progress in many areas, with full access to HIV treatment and reduction of transmission of HIV to babies.

The Betsi Quthing Link supports their colleagues with training.

The Link has delivered training in midwifery, new-born resuscitation, mental health, physical examination and leadership and management skills.

In return, we have learned about resilience and how to achieve outcomes in spite of very few resources.

Dr Kathrin Thomas, chair of the Betsi Quthing International Health Partnership, said: “Our link is based on mutual respect and learning. This is a mutual partnership because we want to learn as much from our resilient colleagues in Africa as they can from us.

“I have visited Quthing and seen for myself the huge challenges that health workers face, and I am amazed at their commitment and resilience. We are learning from each other, and we hope that this project will enable us to strengthen this partnership and help people in Quthing get the health care that can mean life or death to so many.”

Their visit also coincided with the Wales Africa Awards, where the Link won ‘Highly Commended’ in the Partnership category.