MEDICAL WOMEN’S FEDERATION Tavistock House North, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HX Tel: 020 7387 7765 email: [email protected] www.medicalwomensfederation.org.uk @medicalwomenuk www.facebook.com/MedWomen Name Catherine Langford Email [email protected] Project title Comparison of visual estimation of blood loss to gravimetric measurement during Caesarean section in a rural South African Hospital Location of your Elective Manguzi Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Contact details for your elective (eg. Website address or email address of your project coordinator) What did you achieve? Kristel Smit - [email protected] Dr Jos Zwinkels (Location Supervisor) - [email protected] Would you recommend this location / project to others? Further comments (eg. Travel advice, tips for organising an elective similar to this etc.) Undertook a project which involved looking at the accuracy of visual estimation of blood loss during Caesarean section compared to gravimetric measurement of blood loss i.e. weighing blood-soaked gauzes Participated in various surgical procedures such as scrubbing in for multiple Caesarean sections Performed procedures under supervision that I would not normally have the chance to do in the UK, such as giving a spinal anaesthetic prior to C-section Participated in an Outreach clinic in remote areas of KwaZulu-Natal and was able to clerk patients from extremely impoverished backgrounds; observed how great an impact HIV has on patients from these regions who have poor access to health education and thus poor compliance to medication regimens Clerked patients in outpatient clinics and was called to help in emergencies such as performing CPR on a patient who had arrested Absolutely. I would recommend this location to anyone who wants to gain an insight into rural medicine and all of the challenges associated with it. To organise our elective at Manguzi, my friends and I contacted the hospital using the generic email address given on The Electives Network website (see above). Correspondence with the hospital was then via Kristel Smit, who arranged our accommodation on the hospital site - a very basic hut which slept 4 in one room and only cost £40 (800ZAR) for 4 weeks! In terms of travelling to Manguzi we flew to Durban and then stayed a night in the city before getting a 6 hour bus journey from the city centre up to the hospital. As a group of 3 we did a weekly shop at the local Spar supermarket and prepared meals together every day using the basic cooking equipment in our hut. One thing to consider if your elective is in May-June time is that it gets dark at around 5:30pm MEDICAL WOMEN’S FEDERATION Tavistock House North, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HX Tel: 020 7387 7765 email: [email protected] www.medicalwomensfederation.org.uk @medicalwomenuk www.facebook.com/MedWomen and it was considered unsafe to go off the hospital site after dark, so make sure you take lots of reading/games for the evenings! Would you be happy for you feedback form to be available on our website? Further comments (eg. A review of your trip) max. 500 words. Yes with email address. I had an absolutely incredible time at Manguzi Hospital. Time spent in the hospital was eye-opening in the sense that we saw pathologies that you would never see in the UK, rewarding in that I got to perform procedures that I wouldn’t normally be able to and also emotionally demanding given the high mortality rate and extreme poverty that some patients lived in. Outside of the hospital we immersed ourselves in the local culture by exploring the town and going to daily markets. We attended socials with the hospital staff such as Friday morning tea held at a different staff member’s house each week (all of the staff lived on site), braiis (South African BBQs!) and sing-a-longs! At the weekends we explored the surrounding areas including Ponto D’Ouro in Mozambique, Tembe Elephant Safari Park and a beautiful secluded beach called Kosi Bay. Overall my experience at Manguzi was truly unforgettable and made me realise how very lucky we are in the UK to be able to order tests and prescribe medications without worrying about whether or not they’ll be available! I would recommend this elective to anyone who wants to fully immerse themselves in a different culture and a side to medicine that you will never experience in the UK.