International expeditions in Kilimanjaro
7 day Machame: 30/07/15 – 09/08/15
Open Kili Lemosho August A: 20/08/15 – 30/08/15
Description of the trip:
– 7 day Machame: 30/07/15 – 09/08/15
For more information please see: http://www.kilimanjarochallenge.com/routedetail.php?ID=9
– Open Kili Lemosho August A: 20/08/15 – 30/08/15
For more information please see: http://www.kilimanjarochallenge.com/routedetail.php?ID=10
Experience and Level of training required:
Fully qualified Doctor of medicine – Altitude experience and courses in expedition medicine are preferred requirements bur not essential
Great interpersonal skills and a positive attitude are essential!
Contact details email & phone:
James Holland – Resourcing Executive
Action Challenge organises high quality challenges, trips and adventures for individuals to join our groups, and bespoke events for charities, companies, private groups & schools. What makes all our challenges truly unique is the way we encourage our groups to bond together as teams – and take on the challenge in front of them! As the saying goes, it’s through adversity that people come together; and in addition to the natural camaraderie that comes with a shared adventure, we actively involve people in the way the challenge unfolds. We believe that through great organisation and a good relationship with our clients, the more we are out of the limelight; the more members of the group get to shine.
Contact KEN DUNN at Connecting Communities Worldwide for more info:
T: 01709 717 111
M: 0752 852 9766
Not many things you can say that change your life! Attending the Wild Medicine course was one of those events. Amazing set of people and a fantastic opportunity to learn about conservation and desert medicine.
The kind of odd things we learnt…
– Take blood from a cheetah,
– Learn about (and touch – optional) many poisonous snakes,
– Sleep in a desert, walk 14km through a dry river canyon,
– What are the problem animals with Rabies? (A: Kudu),
– How can carnivores live outside conservation areas & not get killed by farmers &
– How to build a vineyard in a desert … what?!..
And the thing that changed our lives? Meet the Bushmen and see their need for healthcare! My wife and I are volunteering at Naankuse to run the Bushmen medical services. The real thing we learned? There are many people out there that can benefit from our skills …
Oh and by the way Namibia is amazing you get to see loads … but you can also get a 4×4 and do a week or so trip before the course.
The race covers tough but beautiful terrain, invariably with high temperatures and humidity. The route is classed as a category “black” marathon – a marathon where serious consideration should be taken to safety provision. For this reason medical support is vital. Over the last 2 years, under the guidance of the Medical Director, groups of medical professionals from across the world have travelled to Sierra Leone to help out. When joined by local medics and nurses, mining corporation paramedics and medical students, this team have provided essential cover to the marathon. More importantly, previous teams can testify that they have have had an amazing adventure, providing a great talking point for grand rounds on their return!
Most of the action for the medical team takes place on race day, where teams set up makeshift medical stations around the course, providing first line medical care to the runners. This is co-ordinated from Medical HQ, the headquarters for ongoing treatment, and communication centre to each of the medical stations.
Sierra Leone is very much a developing country – supplies and equipment are limited and expertise is varied. This is a challenge, but one worth taking on. Outside of race day, the medical team will be involved in procuring equipment, medical briefings to international runners, and manning clinics offered to local runners on registration day. Another important job for the team is spending time chatting to the runners before the race, providing reassurance and advice, usually over a local beer!
We would like people who like the sound of this event to travel out to Sierra Leone for between 1 and 2 weeks to help us organise the 2014 Sierra Leone Marathon. We do ask that you fund your own trip (flights and accommodation only, all transport and meals will be free) but in return we will give you your own ‘experience of a lifetime’ seeing and assisting with Street Child projects in urban and rural Sierra Leone, taking part in a week of festivities in Makeni and you still get to finish on a high joining our West African beach party and 2 night beach hut retreat!
Dates are pretty flexible, the marathon is on Sunday 25th May so an 8 day trip could fly Wed 21st May and return Wed 28th May 2014. Direct 6 hour flights from London are available from Gambia Bird Airlines and BA.
To enquire or apply please send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*For applications to the role of Medical Director, the role will be to provide leadership and direction to the medical team. A return flight from London will also be provided. Minimum dates Mon 19th – Wed 28th May 14.
Courses of Interest
Here we highlight a medical elective scheme they have been running at one of their field bases in Madagascar…
Liz and I arrived at Coco Beach at the beginning of September, ready to undertake our medical elective (a six week placement in a “healthcare setting that differs from the NHS”- cue a mass exodus of fourth year med students to the 4 corners of the globe…). The plan was to join up with the FISA (family planning) project set up by BV in 2007 and conduct our own research project focusing on the clinic’s interaction with young people in the local area. Our first 3 days fortuitously overlapped with the end of Medical Director and family planning project founder Vik’s latest stay, so we were rapidly immersed in a crash course in family planning, dive and expedition medicine and the importance of making the most of our idyllic setting and local rum! His enthusiasm was contagious and we were soon planning our own project. However we were both surprised and a little daunted to learn that the educational intervention to be developed as a consequence of our research would be a play; written, produced and directed by us! Drama not being a core module in our particular medical course, we were initially politely positive about the idea but Vik’s unfailing enthusiasm and the sincerity and concern with which he spoke about the issues facing the young people of the region won us over.
We have attended family planning clinics here in Andava as well as the satellite clinics in Belovenoke in the north and Tampilove in the South, collecting the demographic info from patient records and hearing the stories of the women who come to access contraception and counselling from Fanja (the Malagasy lady who runs the clinics). I am continually shocked by the number of children many of these women have had and by how young an age- I’m beginning to feel that I have some catching up to do! The journeys to the clinics make the ease of my daily trip to the hospital in Brighton almost laughable. Normally reached by motorized pirogue (the local fishing boats), Belovanoke is, it transpired one morning when the expected boat captain failed to arrive, a 6-hour round-trip by sereti cart (i.e. a high wooden cart on dodgy looking wheels and no suspension pulled by 2 zebu in dire need of Imodium). The mattress we were cunningly advised to put on the floor softened the ride a little but nothing can prepare you for the flying zebu poo and the inadvertent head-bashing when you are thrown on to your fellow passengers. We finally arrived home battered, bruised, sunburnt and more than a little delirious.
On another memorable occasion the usually wet and choppy pirogue trip to Tampilove was stopped in its tracks by the unforeseen low tide. We spent the following hours trekking through the mangroves, sitting and waiting for the channel to fill and finally pushing the boat whilst dodging evil-looking sea urchins and slimy algae patches. On the upside, it seems pirogue-pushing is an excellent workout for the thighs…
We have now run 2 focus groups with the young people of the village and, having asked them about their use of family planning and the dynamics of their relationships, we have constructed the basis of our play. It has been designed to let teenagers know that the clinic service is available to them and that if they complete their education and have children later on, they have that choice. It is to be performed by ‘vazaha’ (us!) in order to create a bit of a spectacle and attract as much attention as possible. The latest batch of vols have proved suitably enthusiastic and, all going well, our directorial debut should go ahead on Saturday 10th October.
The clinic was set up in 2003 and is based in Epukiro, approximately 120km North of Gobabis and 400km East of Windhoek. It’s a small community made up of mainly Herero, cattle rearing people, and a small group of San Bushman who are traditionally nomadic hunter gatherers that live in small family groups.
Sadly, San are treated as second or even third class citizens in Namibia and providing free and accessible primary healthcare to this community really is a lifeline to many. People walk hundreds of kilometres to receive medical care when they are sick and unfit to travel these distances. The clinic was set up to provide free medical care to the San Bushmen community. The majority of our patients are San who receive all their treatment free at the clinic (84% of consultations). The rest of the consultations are for fee paying locals, mainly Herero (16%).
The doctor’s role is extensive in nature but is extremely satisfying. The clinic is primarily open Monday- Friday, 8am- 5pm with a lunch break from 1pm-2:30pm. Patients are seen on an open access basis. We also provide an outreach clinic to a large primary school with 150 San pupils and to a village 40 kilometres away. We also run a community program which is in its infancy and consists of training and supporting community health workers in several San Bushman settlements in the area.
Many of the San come from the surrounding regions and may travel several hours to reach us. 40% of the patients we see are children. We see a lot of TB, respiratory infections and diarrhoea. We also see trauma, domestic violence, alcoholism and malnutrition. Patients who need to be admitted to hospital are transferred via our clinic car/ambulance to Gobabis Hospital, 120 km away, mainly on gravel roads. On some occasions they need to be taken straight to Windhoek which is a 4 hour drive away.
Facilities in the clinic are very good and include a microscope, ultrasound machine, computer facilities and the internet. We have a good relationship with the state clinic and mutually support each other. The Lifeline clinic is entirely funded by charitable donations. It is part of the N/a’an ku se foundation which also has a wildlife and conservation sanctuary just outside of Windhoek. The farm is 320 km away from the clinic, mainly on tarmac roads.
The doctor is responsible for the clinic staff, currently consisting of a nurse, receptionist, translator, cleaner and gardener. The doctor works with Anna Daries, our wonderful Namibian nurse who has been with the clinic for approximately eight years. She has good local knowledge of the San community and is well respected by them. The doctor also looks after the medical volunteers who come from all over the world and stay for a period of two weeks upwards, provides teaching & projects for them to undertake and ensures they are looked after. They are vital to the financial aspect of the project. The doctor/ partner picks the volunteers up from the farm and then drops them back at regular two weekly intervals. This also allows for a few days leave from the clinic itself.
Accommodation is attached to the clinic and is shared with the nurse and medical volunteers so there is not a lot of privacy. The accommodation is comfortable with a fully equipped kitchen, electricity, solar heated water, a television, a garden and two small affectionate dogs. Regular visits to Gobabis are undertaken to pick up food and provisions.
Other responsibilities include keeping regular updates for the management team, writing reports to obtain further funding (working with the fundraising manager), ordering the medications for the pharmacy and generally maintaining patient records.
There is often a lot of driving involved, some of it on gravel roads, but the clinic car is a Nissan X-Trail in good condition and reliable and safe to drive. You do need to be able to change a tyre as punctures will occur!
Namibia is one of the safest African countries to visit; the main nuisance is petty crime. Driving around Namibia is quite safe as long as you keep to a sensible speed and avoid driving in the dark. The roads are not busy.
It must be stressed that this is a remote area of Namibia in a small but friendly community. There are frequent power and water cuts particularly in the rainy season. Accommodation and food are all provided. There is also a small monetary remuneration of N$5000/ month (about £400/ month). The job would be suitable for a single doctor or a couple (not necessarily two medics).
This very rewarding role would suit a doctor with a passion for people, who would be prepared for the remoteness and heat of Eastern Namibia and who can be flexible and embrace all aspects of the role.
For more information about N/a’an ku sê please visit www.naankuse.com and/or contact email@example.com
N/a’an ku sê Foundation, P.O. Box 99292, Windhoek, Namibia.
T: +264 (0) 817 438 505
Sheltering the shadow of Brandberg Mountain, Namibia’s highest, EWM’s Desert & Wilderness Medicine course really is something different as Mark Hannaford explains
Developed for medical professionals and advanced medics working in hot or arid climates, the Desert and Wilderness Medicine medical training course aims to introduce participants to the skills required for working in hot, arid and sub Saharan areas, and to care for and treat injuries and illness likely to occur in this fascinating environment.
Of interest – Conservation ‘Wild Medicine’ in Namibia