Help Marianne volunteer at Bethel Hospital, Ethiopia

Obstetrics & Gynaecology Doctor Seeks Help to Raise Funds for Ethiopia Trip!

Help Marianne volunteer at Bethel Hospital, Ethiopia
  • £1,646

    pledged of £1,500

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This project received pledges on Mon 11 May 2015

About Me

My name is Marianne and I have been working as a Doctor in London for 7 years. I specialised in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (pregnancy related problems and women's health) five years ago, and now work as a Senior Registrar in a busy West London Hospital.

I have always wanted to volunteer medical aid to women in developing countries - however, as you can imagine, this is difficult to do in practice when you have a full time job working for the NHS! Now that I have developed the necessary skills (and have been granted time off!), it has finally become a reality.

My Project

I will be travelling to Ethiopia on 9th May for 2 weeks with a group of 9 doctors, 8 nurses and 2 general helpers. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world and therefore any aid is hugely valuable. Despite a population of over 90 million, there are less than 2000 doctors.

We will be volunteering at Bethel Teaching General Hospital, just outside the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Here we will provide free medical care to any women presenting to us - unfortunately many of these women will have advanced gynaecological conditions (including cancers) requiring surgery. Our aim is to optimise the short time we have away from our regular jobs, and therefore we will be working full day shifts (12-13 hour days) with just the Sunday off to rest!

What will the funds go towards?

I hope to raise funds to help me with the cost of this trip - I would be extremely grateful for any donations made, however small! 

I am raising £1500 for the flight, transfers, and accommodation.

Any extra funds will go towards helping the rest of my team get to Ethiopia. We will also be visiting an orphanage on our day off, donating clothing as well as books and educational materials.

The trip is organised by a small charity called Wings of Healing. Please have a look at their website - - which gives information about previous visits to Ethiopia and some background to the charity.

Please please please share this project with anyone you think would support me – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, telephone, or even by good old face-to-face conversation!

Thanks everyone!

2 years, 1 month ago

Hi everyone,

Finally had a moment to upload some pictures! It's not that easy on here but the full lot are on my Facebook page :)

Thank you so much to everyone who sponsored me!! We had an amazing and productive trip... The team saw approximately 200 patients in clinic and performed 72 major operations on women who would not otherwise be able to afford healthcare. Most of the women we saw were from the outskirts of the city or from the rural areas, and many told us they had walked over 6 hours to reach the hospital. One patient's relative owned a car, and they had driven over 11 hours to see us - all from a word-of-mouth recommendation! Many just needed simple medical treatments or advice. Unfortunately, we also saw many patients (young and old) with very advanced cancers. We were able to provide accommodation and food packages (e.g. for 6 months) for some of the particularly vulnerable and malnourished women, to help them recover from their operations. Many only weighed 30kg pre-operatively, yet we removed wombs, big ovarian cysts and fibroids weighing up to 3kg!

The patients, families and hospital staff were all lovely and hugely grateful. We managed to do lots of teaching with the junior doctors, and in return they helped us translate and find our way around. The nurses on the ward and in the operating theatre also took on many of our recommendations, hopefully making things safer for patients in future. Some of the practices instituted on the last visit had stuck - such as counting surgical swabs before and after an operation, to ensure none get left behind in the patient.

We also visited the orphanage sponsored by Wings of Healing on our day off. We played girls vs boys football (1-1!!) and they treated us to some very well choreographed song and dance. Each child got a personalised bag or rucksack containing a hat, sunglasses, funky socks/tights and a treat! It was amazing to see their bond together - no fighting or jealously over gifts or food, just smiles all around! We then had our first taste of real Ethiopian food - a take-away in fact - Soured pancakes, curries and noodles!

Thanks again for your generous donations and support.

A full report on our trip is being written at the moment and will be published at

The team are returning to Bethel Hospital in November and May 2016... watch this space!

Marianne x

2 years, 1 month ago

2 years, 1 month ago

The team outside the hospital

2 years, 1 month ago

The operating theatre

2 years, 1 month ago

2 years, 1 month ago

2 years, 3 months ago

Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me so far - a third of the way to my target already, that's amazing!! Please continue to share my link with your friends as well as it really helps get the word out :)

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