DocTours Newsletter September 2015
We welcome the arrival of Spring with open arms! This month, we share a wonderful story from Nurse Maria who volunteered with DocTours in Ecuador and we also look at some of the challenges faced by medical teams in Cambodia.
Our photo competition continues so please share your pics that reflect Global Health. See more details below. Please like us on Facebook at DocTours Volunteers
Volunteering in Ecuador
Maria, an RN from Wollongong recently volunteered in Ecuador. She offered her extensive experience in surgical, gynae, paed and general nursing to the hospital in Guayaquil. She has successfully completed volunteer stints in Bolivia, Mongolia and Vietnam and so she is an intrepid traveller accustomed to working in foreign conditions. She is also fluent in Spanish – an essential ingredient for the Ecuador program. She spent a month working in surgery and various departments of the hospital, delivered lectures to the local nurses and, finally, presented to the Board of the hospital on her observations. She is pictured here with the friendly team. However, she had a few surprises – read more here.
Making a difference
The high out-of-pocket costs for antimicrobial drugs in many developing countries are leading to an increase in drug-resistant pathogens, according to a study by Stanford University (read more here). This is a serious public health issue seen by some of the hospitals that we work with. In Cambodia, a 59-year-old widow arrived at the hospital barely conscious and with a high fever. She had been unsuccessfully treated at two other medical facilities (many use traditional healing) before reaching the hospital. Both of the clinics charged her, requiring collateral on her family farm in Svay Reing province. It is also interesting to note that medications can be purchased from Cambodian pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription. After she arrived at the Emergency Department, the hospital conducted extensive laboratory testing to reveal that Saran had Type 1 diabetes, hypertension and melioidosis- an infectious disease common with farmers in Cambodia. With effective diagnostics, antibiotic medications and 3 weeks of hospitalization, Saran is returning to home. She has a long path ahead to maintain her health.
DocTours Photo Competition
The DocTours Global Health Photography Competition is in full progress. So grab your cameras and smart phones and send us up to 5 of your favourite photos that reflect the theme of ‘Global Health’. Entry is free so why not click and share.
If you have any trouble uploading on the competition site, just email your photos and we will upload for you!