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MEDICAL WOMEN’S FEDERATION
Tavistock House North, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HX
Tel: 020 7387 7765 email: admin.mwf@btconnect.com
www.medicalwomensfederation.org.uk
@medicalwomenuk
www.facebook.com/MedWomen
Name
Catherine Langford
Email
CXL158@student.bham.ac.uk
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 - manguzielective@gmail.com
Dr Jos Zwinkels (Location Supervisor) - jos.zwinkels@gmail.com
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: admin.mwf@btconnect.com
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.