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Michelle Grainger sets up a Non-Governmental Organisation

Michelle Grainger                                                                                                                                               Michelle Grainger with the Ugandan children

 

Kingston and St George’s School of Nursing Senior Lecturer, Michelle Grainger has started her own registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Uganda, called Nurses Reaching Out (NRO). This was created in response to Michelle’s awareness of the needs of nurses who were treating North Uganda’s war torn patients. NRO aim is to support healthcare through empowering and enabling nurses.

Michelle became aware of the civil war in 2007; a war that has driven survivors out their homes and into the large displaced camps. Michelle said “on hearing how healthcare workers were struggling, I wanted to visit them in their work places to see the difficulties they were facing for myself.” Michelle visited North Uganda once the war had ceased to meet a group of healthcare workers. On Michelle’s return she set up NRO as a registered NGO in Uganda with the help of friends and colleagues. In the beginning, NRO carried its operations alongside local nurses in their clinics, observing how they worked and gaining an understanding of Uganda’s culture of care; the critical knowledge gained aided the creation of more efficient services. It is by the development of these connections that student nurses are now able to have international elective placement opportunities in Uganda.

Now in 2014, NRO is committed to working in the hospital in Gulu to help improve the standards of care, quality of the environment and knowledge of the staff. They support the hospital through the creation of a staff library, with books, journals and teaching materials. This involves recording teaching sessions onto CD’s so that Gulu nurses can further their knowledge, skills and practice. There are also project plans to provide equipment for wards. Michelle has contacted friends working in different clinical settings, requesting for donations of any old and unused equipment that is in good working

 

Michelle Grainger                                                                                                                                               Michelle Grainger with the Ugandan children

NRO is also involved in the fight against malaria. The NGO has funded the provision of reinforced netting in every window and door space; to protect patients, nurses and other hospital from malaria while in the hospital. NRO also encourages nurses to share their nursing knowledge to create learning materials for the Uganda nurses; enabling them to have access to continual learning and development.

Michelle said “One desire of mine is to establish an e-journal where nurses from developed countries would be able to contribute articles on topics of benefit to nurses in developing countries, or countries where ongoing education and clinical development is not possible, or is limited.”

Michelle Grainger was awarded with Staff Social Entrepreneur Award 2014. The award recognised NRO vision which is to support healthcare through empowering and enabling nurses in developing countries through the sharing of innovative ‘sustainable’ healthcare solutions.

Michelle also said “winning the award raises awareness of NRO and the work in Gulu.”

Kingston and St George’s students, staff and alumni have the opportunity to get involved with NRO and its aims. Please contact Michelle Grainger atM.Grainger@sgul.kingston.ac.uk for further information.