Introduction

Visionary leader, highly respected teacher, healer, mentor, tireless advocate and champion of Rural Health, Dr Pat Farry was unmatched in his efforts and contribution to Rural Medicine and General Practice education. His vision of sustainable and quality health services for rural communities and small towns of New Zealand was through education. He devoted much of his career to advocating and lobbying for improvements and funding for rural medicine. The Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust was established in March 2010, with the purpose of continuing this legacy. › Continue reading…

The End of Tanzania

For the second half of my time in Tanzania, I worked in the NICU and maternity ward. Nothing could have prepared me for this. 

I began in the NICU, a very full department where one doctor and one nurse manage some 70-100 infants. Here, children are admitted if they are of low birth weight/believed to be premature. I say believed, because very few people use antenatal care in Zanzibar, so many woman do not know how far along they are. › Continue reading…

Touchdown in Tanzania

After LIME, I caught many planes to finally make it to Zanzibar in Tanzania. Zanzibar is a coastal island part of Tanzania that has a fascinating history. It’s known for two big things: for being the home of spice and for being the eastern hub of human slave trading in Africa.

Zanzibar is a predominantly Muslim region which largely reflects its slavery history. Made of a couple of islands, it has a tropical feel with a mix of traditional Africa and the Middle East – an interesting combination. › Continue reading…

The LIME Connection

Next on the agenda for the elective was a quick stop off to Melbourne for a conference called the LIME connection.  This conference brought together indigenous people from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Hawaii for a week of discussions about what was being done to improve indigenous education in medical curriculum. › Continue reading…

What’s your Emergency?

After finishing up in Paediatrics, I moved to emergency care for two weeks. The emergency room was staffed by one doctor and a couple of nurses, one of which was also the ambulance medic if anyone had a call out. This was where I spent a lot of time as a first responder.  Often there is not enough staff to send a doctor in the ambulance. › Continue reading…

Play it by Ear

Another week done here in Tonga. This past week I’ve continued in paediatrics, which continues to be an experience in itself. Among things I managed to attend, were clinics dedicated to heart diseases specifically rheumatic heart disease.

One thing I have quickly come to realise is due to the lack of resources, managing paediatric heart conditions in Tonga is challenging. There is no access to echo – diagnosis and management is purely clinical with an ECG. You have to look for signs of disease. You have to listen and quite literally use the murmurs to play it by ear. › Continue reading…

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