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Physiotherapists without borders: Humanitarian expedition to Tanzania

At the beginning of the year, Physiotherapists Without Borders started a several-month-long humanitarian expedition to Tanzania.

The expedition's goal is to collaborate with local communities and healthcare facilities in Mbeya, southwestern Tanzania, and provide healthcare services and education where these resources are limited or unavailable, explains Lana Ritlop, the expedition leader, a physiotherapy student and president of the student organization at Alma Mater.

Preparations for the expedition lasted more than six months. These included intensive preparation of teams consisting of physiotherapy students, certified physiotherapists, nurses, and medical students. In collaboration with Alma Mater Europaea University and other universities across Slovenia, the teams were well-prepared for the challenges of fieldwork.

They partnered with Save Kids for Future in Tanzania, which teaches local girls to make washable sanitary pads. The teams supplement these workshops with education on women's health, helping the girls gain knowledge about personal hygiene and increase overall health awareness.

"The humanitarian teams operate in two groups. One group works within hospital facilities, and the other directly in the communities. Fieldwork is demanding, involving strenuous working conditions further complicated by weather challenges such as heavy rains. Adapting to the local 'slow time' has been crucial for our interventions' successful integration and effectiveness," describes Lana.

The teams in the field are also conducting research that will contribute to a better understanding of local health challenges. The results of these studies will be presented at student scientific conferences, which will help disseminate knowledge and improve practices.


"The expedition is not just a mission of aid but an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences that enrich the local communities and our volunteers. Sincere thanks go to everyone who has supported this project. Their support is crucial for the continuation of our efforts to improve healthcare in less accessible parts of the world," says Lana Ritlop gratefully, adding that only with their help will they be able to continue providing aid to those who need it most and spreading knowledge and experiences essential for the sustainable improvement of healthcare services worldwide.

On June 1, 2024, at 6:00 PM, Physiotherapists Without Borders will host an exciting travel evening about Tanzania at the Alma Mater Europaea Library in Celje (Mariborska 3).