Archive for 'Blog'


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…

Last Words by Jono Paulin

North Ronaldsay, Orkney.

After spending the fifth year of my medical degree in the Rural Medical Immersion Programme, and loving my time in a rural setting, I knew I wanted to continue to seek rural experiences on my medical elective. I also wanted it to provide me with an opportunity to explore a part of the world I hadn’t been to, as well as the ability to gain experience in a health care system that was comparable to New Zealands. This led to looking around the outer isles of Scotland for a rural elective. I emailed most of the outer isles but Orkney was first to get back to me hence why I chose to go with them. › Continue reading…


Life in the Kingdom of Tonga

The first week was eventful week for many reasons. I arrived in Tonga to begin my first placement at Vaiola hospital on Tongatapu island only to find I had arrived the same week as the passing of the the Queen Mother.

What this means for the Kingdom, is a royal funeral – I can’t say I’ve even been to one before. › Continue reading…

Anna Charles-Jones

All good things come to an end

We’ve left the Orkney Islands, and they have certainly left a mark on me. I have been surprised in the most delightful way by these islands and the people who live there. I thought I’d finish by writing down a collection of the wee moments that have all come together to spark the great love for Orkney that I now have. › Continue reading…

Jono Paulin

Farewell Orkney

I have had a pretty varied roster in the Balfour lately, flicking between women’s health clinics, A&E, and theatre. Everyone is, as always, very welcoming, and I have found it helpful to try and see things that I hadn’t had a huge amount of experience in otherwise. › Continue reading…

Anna Charles-Jones

Meet Bernie

Before we came across to the Orkney Islands, I was really intrigued to find out who the doctors and nurses were on the isles and why they were there. What kind of people were they? Where were they at in their careers? And why were they in Orkney? I’ve since answered that final question for myself – it’s FANTASTIC.

› Continue reading…

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