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 Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust has announced application details for its Travelling Scholarship for 2017/2018. The annual Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust Travelling Scholarship awards up to $10,000.00, which may be divided between two recipients. The scholarship assists medical students to travel internationally to a rural situation to observe new concepts, develop their own skills and share their learning with other students when they return. › Continue reading…

At Capacity and Infections

The idea of a hospital being ‘at capacity’ has gained a new meaning for me since my attachment started on the Paediatrics ward at Karapitiya. This year has been particularly bad for dengue in Sri Lanka with an estimated 81, 000 dengue patients nationwide and around 250 deaths from this mosquito-borne virus.

Paediatric ward at Karapitiya

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Labour Room and the Law

This morning was busy in the labour room with five babies being born before midday. The layout of this area is strikingly different from the standard maternity suite in a New Zealand hospital. The room is one open space with eight curtained beds housed in two bays. Perhaps most surprising to me was that it is normal and expected that women birth alone here without any family or partner support. This included women coping with the delivery of babies with very poor, terminal prognoses such as one woman with an anencephalic foetus who was being induced at 41 weeks. › Continue reading…

First Impressions

Things have changed since my partner Steve and I were last in Sri Lanka. We travelled here for a month in 1999 during a brief ceasefire during the Tamil Tiger years. I’ve always had a fascination with islands and Sri Lanka didn’t disappoint despite our travel being restricted to avoiding the then more dangerous north of the island. › 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…
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