Archive from January, 2013
Jan 31, 2013 - Medical Talk    3 Comments

Malaria season

Given that Zambia’s average life expectancy is 52 years, and that 119 out of every 1000 babies born here are not expected to live beyond 5 years of age, I knew that I was going to have to face a lot of unwell and dying patients out here in Zambia… but as rainy season gets into full swing, and the anopheles mosquitoes come out in full force, the numbers of deaths climb to new highs.

In malaria endemic areas such as Zambia, most people who reach adulthood have developed a partial immunity to malaria; reducing the risk that malaria infection will cause severe disease. Children on the other hand are still developing this partial immunity, leaving them vulnerable to malaria.

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Jan 17, 2013 - Medical Talk    2 Comments


HIV/AIDS tends to be the first disease that springs to mind when thinking about Africa. However, on speaking to an infectious disease consultant in July 2012 for some last minute clinical advice before my big move to Zambia, it was Tuberculosis (TB) that dominated the conversation.

After I finished picking his brain about some of the things I might encounter in Zambia, his exact words were “you do know what the biggest threat to you is out there?” to which I quietly mumbled the correct answer: “TB…”

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Jan 9, 2013 - General, Travel    3 Comments

New Year in Namibia

I welcomed in 2013 on a sand dune in Namibia. It was my first time to Namibia, and my first New Year on a sand dune. It was also the first time I had spent more than four days away from St Francis Hospital since my arrival in August.

Having left behind the hot and steamy rainy season in Zambia, it was a huge contrast to arrive in the parched Namib Desert. Temperatures soared to over 40 degrees with almost zero humidity and clear blue skies.

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