Staff Story - Tarcisio Muchanga

An APOPO medic at the minefields who makes sure that everyone feels safe and confident at work.

I am Tarcisio Muchanga and I am an APOPO medic on standby at the minefield. 

Being a medic here is different to any other medical position I have had. 

For obvious reasons... 

Each mine clearance team has a medic on standby at a nearby safe medical post. 

Equipped with top quality equipment and an ambulance. 

To ensure that we are up to speed, our team leaders order regular practice drills.

He designates someone to simulate an accident whilst carrying out their duties.

An alarm whistle is sounded and everyone pauses to compose themselves.

Before extracting the ‘victim’ from the minefield in a safe and controlled manner.

Once at the medical post I check vital signs and stabilize the patient...

...who is then evacuated to a waiting hospital.

In my first few weeks around a minefield I always expected the alarm whistle for real.

But over time as I saw APOPO’s high safety standards and controlled work ethic...

...I realised that an accident would be very unlikey indeed.

Discipline, awareness and good training protect us.