Students from Montreal and Vienna go to Tanzania to meet Highlands Hope and PIUMA staff and volunteers

Four young Austrian nursing students have started final preparations to go to Bulongwa to show solidarity with the Highlands Hope HIV+ patients' group PIUMA.

Wolfgang Rausch, Sabine Winkler, Michaela Schreiner and Reinhard Weiser are in the second year of studies at the Schule für allgemeine Gesundheits und Krankeplege im AKH in Vienna.

"We want to see for ourselves the situation oft he people in Bulongwa, especially the patients and the families living with HIV-AIDS," says Wolfgang Rausch. " We think we can learn a great deal by observing a skilled nurse from Makete District."

The students will be with PIUMA nurse Mary Musoma for four weeks beginning in August.

"We learned about Makete District at a vernissage for a book about the hospital in Bulongwa," explains Sabine Winkler. "We started learning more about Tanzania and decided to approach (Highlands Hope partner) EAWM and PIUMA about going to Africa to learn more about our profession."

The students also learned as much as they could about HIV and about conditions that affect patients with untreated AIDS, patients who are, sadly, all too common in Makete District.

Two students from McGill University will be in Bulongwa for the month of July. Alexandra Orr is studying medicine and Mary Sweeny is in McGill's anatomy programme. They will be with PIUMA volunteers and staff until early August.