Saturday, 7 May 2011

WHAT?! No Interweb?!?!?!

I'm so sorry guys, it turns out that there is no internet at the hospital, well, at least for elective students there isn't. I'm pretty bummer, was looking forward to doing this blog!!

I'm writing this from Flatdogs camp which is in the South Luangwa National Park, done one game drive this morning and am heading out in 20 minutes for a second. The animals and the scenery are just extraordinary.

Have been working 11 hour days on the male medical ward at the hospital and the out patient's department. So many people here and some of them travel for hours and hours just to be seen, as you'd expect people are desperately ill and most are very poor. Death is so common here that one of the biggest things to get used to is the different attitude towards it that the medical staff, the patients and their families have. For them, illness and death are part of day to day life but for me and other people who come in from outside it's very frustrating to see people die of illness which are so easily treatable back home.

On the lighter side, the first names here are amazing. Her are a selection: Limited, Size, Socket, Loveness, Fatness, Grandson, Bornface and the best...Fertiliser. It also turns out there are more Patricks here than back in England!

So, three more weeks to go, missing my wife and daughter desperately but learning so much about medicine here. More than that though, the perspective you gain from seeing these patients is striking. Listening to the average (fat) English patient bitch and moan about how the NHS isn't fixing their Diabetes and Obesity while expecting to put the minimal ammount of effort in themselves will be a bitter pill to swallow when I start in Taunton. You just cannot believe what people get on with here, for example, I saw a guy in out patients who had been assaulted one month, ONE MONTH, ago and had come in because his arm and foot hurt. I ordered a set of X-rRays and it turns out he had practured his arm and ankle. I'm not really sure how he managed without any pain relief or support for 4 weeks!!

Looking at the news it seems I've not missed much...right????

Monday, 18 April 2011


So we made it. Sweet.

A long taxi ride and we got to Lusaka backpackers, really cool place with a great bar and swimming pool. We went straight off to see Lusaka and buy our bus tickets to Katete. Honestly the most stressful 10 minutes of my life, 10 guys surrounded me and were persuading me to use their company. So I not only had no idea what the hell was going on but I no longer knew what a bus was and if one did exist what I was meant to do with it.

Eventually sorted it and went off for a walk, cool signs where people crossing the street have nice little hats.

We had a nice lunch at Chit Chat which has the nicest waiter I've ever met, he may be the nicest person I've ever met...anyway, here's a Preying Mantis (I think)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

It's on

So the day is finally here peeps. No more NHS (booooo), no more Lansley (yaaaay!).

Bye bye London, see you in a bit.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011



Decided to do a blog of my visit to Zambia, partly to keep people updated if they were interested but also a little diary for myself.

The hospital I'm going to is a small village called Katete, which is a 45 minute drive from Chipata. I'm going with a fellow Bart's student AF who will keep me company and sane hopefully.

The hospital has a good website if you want to check it out! As a student who has passed my final exams I believe I'll be working as a junior doctor, intern, with WAY more responsibilities than any junior in the UK would expect. There'll also be some funky diseases so I'll try and post lots of disgusting pictures for your enjoyment!