https://content.thewest.com.au/publication/slug/war-torn-lands-dose-of-reality-ng-b88579646z
{"_self":"https://thewest.com.au/news/regional/war-torn-lands-dose-of-reality-ng-b88579646z","id":"B88579646Z","kind":"article","slug":"war-torn-lands-dose-of-reality-ng-b88579646z","status":"live","source":"The Kimberley Echo","publicationDate":"2017-09-13T01:35:00.000Z","created":"2017-09-13T01:36:06.586Z","lastUpdated":"2017-09-13T01:36:15.604Z","primaryTopic":"news/regional","secondaryTopics":["news/kimberley","news/the-kimberley-echo"],"topics":{"primary":{"id":"news/regional","title":"Regional WA","metadata":{},"parent":{"id":"news","title":"News","metadata":{}}},"secondary":[{"id":"news/kimberley","title":"Kimberley","metadata":{},"parent":{"id":"news","title":"News","metadata":{}}},{"id":"news/the-kimberley-echo","title":"The Kimberley Echo","metadata":{},"parent":{"id":"news","title":"News","metadata":{}}}]},"assets":[{"kind":"image","id":"GV016P533.3","name":"130917kimdoctor001","captionText":"Pip Collins with local children in the Middle East. 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Picture: Médecins Sans Frontières Australia","byline":null,"credit":null,"copyrightByline":"Médecins Sans Frontières Australia","copyrightCredit":"Médecins Sans Frontières Australia","crops":[{"format":"image/jpeg","dimensions":"798x490","reference":"GV016P52F.1-1.jpg"}],"original":{"format":"image/jpeg","reference":"https://images.thewest.com.au/publication/B88579646Z/GV016P52F.1-1.jpg"}},{"kind":"image","id":"GV016P52K.1","name":"130917kimdoctor003","captionText":"Pip Collins with local doctors in the Middle East. Picture: Médecins Sans Frontières Australia","byline":null,"credit":null,"copyrightByline":"Médecins Sans Frontières Australia","copyrightCredit":"Médecins Sans Frontières Australia","crops":[{"format":"image/jpeg","dimensions":"798x490","reference":"GV016P52K.1-1.jpg"}],"original":{"format":"image/jpeg","reference":"https://images.thewest.com.au/publication/B88579646Z/GV016P52K.1-1.jpg"}},{"kind":"image","id":"GDC17DDUP.3","name":"140917kimdoctor003","captionText":"Pippa Collins. Picture: Cally Dupe","byline":null,"credit":null,"copyrightByline":"Cally Dupe","copyrightCredit":"The Kimberley Echo","crops":[],"original":{"format":"image/jpeg","reference":"https://images.thewest.com.au/publication/B88579646Z/GDC17DDUP.3-0.jpg"}}],"items":[{"kind":"byline","text":"Cally Dupe","name":null,"credit":null,"highlight":null,"dateline":null},{"kind":"content","blocks":[{"kind":"text","text":"Three years ago, Pippa Collins successfully applied for a volunteer placement with Medecins Sans Frontieres and braced herself for the experience of a lifetime. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"A few months later, she boarded a plane to Myanmar and started what would become an incredible journey volunteering in war-torn countries with the international medical humanitarian organisation commonly known as Doctors Without Borders. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"Ms Collins now lives in Kununurra, where she has worked as a nurse at the local hospital for the past two and a half years after an 18-month stint, which started in 2010. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"The rugged Kimberley is a world away from Iraq, where she found herself in April on her fourth placement with Doctors Without Borders. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"“I was based just south of Mosul, where Iraqi and international forces were trying to reclaim Mosul back from Islamic State,” Ms Collins said. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"“The main MSF project was a trauma hospital as the numbers of mass casualties from the war was large, many being families trapped in the fighting.","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"“The town we were in, Hammam Al Alil, had a population of around 30,000, and at the time no access to health care; these had been destroyed by the war.” Ms Collins’ main role was to set up a primary healthcare centre in a bus station. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"inline","reference":"","name":"130917kimdoctor002","width":"","height":"","align":""},{"kind":"text","text":"By the time she departed, it involved six shipping containers and two tents with four medical consultation rooms, a small pharm-acy, a malnutrition feeding program and a triage tent, servicing 500 patients every day. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"“I often get asked if I felt unsafe. What was surreal was working in this environment; there was a part that knew I had a job to do and got on with it,” Ms Collins said. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"“Then there were the times you had a moment to stop and truly appreciate the context — the bullet holes throughout the buildings, the rubble where houses used to be, the sound of bombing at night, gunfire and the hardest part were the stories of what people had experienced. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"“Even to this day, I am not sure my mind has fully reconciled what I have experienced.","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"“The reality is that this is only a short time in my life, but an everyday reality for those still there.” ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"inline","reference":"","name":"130917kimdoctor001","width":"","height":"","align":""},{"kind":"text","text":"Ms Collins was also on assignment in Liberia during the 2014 ebola outbreak and also volunteered in South Sudan and Myanmar. ","intentions":[]},{"kind":"text","text":"Returning to Kununurra, Ms Collins said she would encourage other healthcare professionals to donate their time to the organisation. ","intentions":[]}]},{"kind":"head-kicker","text":"Nursing experience"},{"kind":"heading","text":"War-torn lands dose of reality"},{"kind":"homepage-head","text":"War-torn lands dose of reality"},{"kind":"homepage-teaser","text":"Kimberley nurse Pippa Collins has returned from the trip of a lifetime."},{"kind":"main-image","width":"","height":"","name":"140917kimdoctor003"}],"isSponsored":false,"redirectUrl":null,"canonicalUrl":null,"canonicalTitle":null,"blogState":null}
Three years ago, Pippa Collins successfully applied for a volunteer placement with Medecins Sans Frontieres and braced herself for the experience of a lifetime. A few months later, she boarded a plane to Myanmar and started what would become an incredible journey volunteering in war-torn countries with the international medical humanitarian organisation commonly known as Doctors Without Borders. Ms Collins now lives in Kununurra, where she has worked as a nurse at the local hospital for the past two and a half years after an 18-month stint, which started in 2010. The rugged Kimberley is a world away from Iraq, where she found herself in April on her fourth placement with Doctors Without Borders. “I was based just south of Mosul, where Iraqi and international forces were trying to reclaim Mosul back from Islamic State,” Ms Collins said. “The main MSF project was a trauma hospital as the numbers of mass casualties from the war was large, many being families trapped in the fighting. “The town we were in, Hammam Al Alil, had a population of around 30,000, and at the time no access to health care; these had been destroyed by the war.” Ms Collins’ main role was to set up a primary healthcare centre in a bus station. By the time she departed, it involved six shipping containers and two tents with four medical consultation rooms, a small pharm-acy, a malnutrition feeding program and a triage tent, servicing 500 patients every day. “I often get asked if I felt unsafe. What was surreal was working in this environment; there was a part that knew I had a job to do and got on with it,” Ms Collins said. “Then there were the times you had a moment to stop and truly appreciate the context — the bullet holes throughout the buildings, the rubble where houses used to be, the sound of bombing at night, gunfire and the hardest part were the stories of what people had experienced. “Even to this day, I am not sure my mind has fully reconciled what I have experienced. “The reality is that this is only a short time in my life, but an everyday reality for those still there.” Ms Collins was also on assignment in Liberia during the 2014 ebola outbreak and also volunteered in South Sudan and Myanmar. Returning to Kununurra, Ms Collins said she would encourage other healthcare professionals to donate their time to the organisation.