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Doctor(s) / Nurse Practitioner required at Lifeline Clinic, Namibia

The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is looking for two doctors or a doctor and a nurse practitioner to run the Lifeline

Clinic 2Clinic based in Pos 3 in the remote Omaheke region of Namibia, from May 2015. This is a unique opportunity to provide primary and pre-hospital care to the San Bushman.  This is a voluntary position with food, accommodation and a living allowance provided and the Foundation would like applicants to stay for at least one year. The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is looking for two doctors or a doctor and a nurse practitioner to run the Lifeline Clinic based in Pos 3 in the remote Omaheke region of Namibia, from May 2015. This is a unique opportunity to provide primary and pre-hospital care to the San Bushman.  This is a voluntary position with food, accommodation and a living allowance provided.  The Foundation would like applicants to stay for at least one year.



The San are considered to be the oldest peoples in the world. For tens of thousands of years the San were hunter gatherers and did not farm or keep livestock. With the advent of agriculture, the San have been forced from their original lands and are unable live their traditional lifestyle.  As a consequence, most San people now live in extreme poverty. They are the poorest group in Namibia with a per capita income of just N$ 3,263 compared with a national average of N$ 10,358. They suffer from discrimination, political and social marginalisation, domination and exploitation. They are the unhealthiest group in Namibia and have a life expectancy of just 46 years.
The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the San and is looking for two doctors or a doctor and a nurse practitioner to run the Lifeline Clinic based in Pos 3 in the Omaheke region of Namibia from May 2015 for one year or longer.
You will provide primary healthcare services and pre-hospital care to the local San population from a reasonably modern, clean and well-equipped clinic. You will also, through outreach clinics, provide care to those living further afield on farms and re-settlement villages. Working with you is a UK trained respiratory consultant who, as part of a research programme, is screening for TB among the San (we estimate 10% of the San people currently have TB) and will be looking at ways of improving their compliance with treatment.
The work is rewarding but the logistics of providing a quality service can be challenging at times – after all ‘this is Africa’. Experience in general medicine, primary care, or emergency medicine is desirable. Most importantly you need to be resilient, flexible, and tolerant.  Having a sense of humour definitely helps!
This role provides you with an opportunity to improve the lives of the San people and leave a legacy that remains long after you have returned home. If you would like to find out more about these posts, contact Sharon Smart by emailing “sharon at naankuse dot com” [email address spelled out to deter spamming]

Conservation Research Organisation Requires Medics

Man--and-lemur Operation Wallacea undertakes biodiversity monitoring and conservation research expeditions in countries across the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. We need medics urgently for 2-8week contracts on a variety of expeditions including: Madagascar, Honduras and Mexico.

Many of our projects are in developing countries where medical facilities are poor, and we are generally based in remote areas, so we rely on the help of volunteer medics to join our teams and provide medical support for the staff and students on site.  Accommodation, meals and a travel bursary (which varies in size depending on how long you are available for) will be provided.

Being a medic on expedition generally involves giving health and safety briefings to incoming participants, providing a daily clinic session and being available for emergencies at other times.

You are free to join the research projects for most of the time, as long as you remain within a reasonable distance of the camp at which you are based so it is a great opportunity to get out and involved in research and conservation in some truly amazing locations.


If this sounds like it may be of interest and you are free from two to eight weeks between June and August then please send a copy of your resume to Caroline Acton at


Medical links of interest

Extreme Medicine Conference

Pre-Hospital Care Workshop with London Air Ambulance

Sir Ranulph Fiennes & Extreme Medicine


EWM’s Wild Medicine Course Changed our Lives

We know that education opens doors and as the EWM crew are both interested and a bit nosey, we love to hear what our alumni get up to after attending our courses.  Naturally then, we were delighted to hear from Ian P, who told us he and his wife loved the  2013 Wild Medicine course so much, they’re busy packing up in the UK and moving to Namibia…

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.


Other courses of interest:
Remote Medicine
Extreme Medicine Conference

This years Wild Medicine Course



Working and Living in Namibia as Medic – EWM Alumni reports back…

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine alumni  Sarah McMurtrie has recently returned from Namibia having worked at a remote Bushman clinic, a post advertised through EWM, a has kindly written her impressions up to inspire you!

Working and Living in Namibia as a medic…

Based in POS 3: Epukiro- North East Namibia 1800 elevation.

Nearest town and district hospital 100km away at Gobabis. Facilities include an Accident and Emergency, TB ward, women’s ward, and maternity and paediatric ward.

Gobabis- 200km from Windhoek (capital of Namibia). Windheok has two major hospitals: Windhoek Central and Katatorah Hospital. It is Gobabis hospital that is the closest place for the people of Epukiro to get an x-ray and it is also the closest place for blood tests and TB sputum samples to be processed. The samples can be taken in Epukiro but need to be transported to Gobabis hospital.

Epukrio/ Pos 3 is a community of San Bushman and Herero people. The settlement is a mixture of small brick buildings and corrugated iron roofs, simple shacks made from wood, cloth and open fires. Communal living within a sandy compound- with relatively infertile land. No toilets so families use the bush – raising sanitation problems and risk of spreading and contracting worms.

The village itself contains two small shops  selling sweets, sugar, oil, soap, tinned goods and two bottle shops ( bars selling bottled beer). A government building involved in agriculture. The state clinic run by nurses  – here everyone pays the equivalent of 7 euros for treatment, there is also an ambulance that can make trips to Gobabis hospital.

There is only one communal tap for the whole of the Bushman community and until one month ago the Bushman were buying water from the Hereros.  There are also a few Shabeems, these are shacks selling cheap alcohol blasting out local pop music, this is unfortunately where a lot of local people – mainly the Bushmen – spend their time and money.

The Lifeline clinic in Eupikro was set up by a Namibian family in 2003, all part of the foundation called N/aankuse. This is a free clinic for Bushman people and where Hereros pay the equivalent of 7 euros. It is run by a permanent Namibian nurse (working there for more than six years) and a resident doctor who comes for at least one year. It is staffed by local people – a receptionist, two translators and a gardener. Volunteers come throughout the year, nurses, doctors or students for an experience.

As a paediatric nurse I came for 4 weeks to the Lifeline clinic. The clinic opens from 08:30- 17:00 Monday to Friday. There are three consulting rooms, family planning and immunisation room and small emergency/ rhesus room. On average 25- 30 patients are seen each day, anything from birth upwards.

For children there is a lot of diarrhoea and vomiting. Immunisations, dehydration, rashes, worms, tinus capitas, occasional broken bones and rapid malaria testing. Tonsillitis, upper and lower respitory tract infections.

For adults a lot of TB patients and TB sputum samples taken- these have to be processed in Gobabis. HIV related illnesses and HIV testing (which has to be done at the State Clinic). Upper and Lower respitory tract infections, chronic pain, arthritis, unknown wounds from insect bites or animals. Family Planning- Ladies coming in for their two or three monthly injections, fungal rashes, STI’s. Alcohol related problems or injuries.

It runs like a GP surgery. Patients histories are taken, these take a long time as most patients speak Bushman, Herero or Africans.  Nearly all consultations require a translator and frequently it is hard to get clear patient histories and the exact information. Patience is needed and often the presenting compliant turns out not to be primary compliant.

Temperature, blood pressure, weights, saturations, heart rate and respirations are all taken. Urine samples, stool samples, TB sputum’s, BM’s taken when required.  For children MUAC (middle upper arm circumference) taken between the age of 6 months to 6 years.

Examinations taken – listening to chest sounds, looking in ears, throats, feeling for lymph nodes, assessing limb from range of moments, pain assessments. Vision examinations (an eye doctor visits the State Clinic every other month). Abdominal examinations feeling for enlarged spleens and livers, or looking out for distended abdomens especially in children.

The clinic has a pharmacy, frequently dispensed medications are paracetamol- but only one or two days worth as alcoholism is a big problem in the village. Methysal gel – to rub over muscle aches- very popular in this community. Ibuprofen – only a few days worth- it’s the Herero ladies with high blood pressure which like this. Oral Antibiotics given for infected bites, secondary lesions and open wounds, also respiratory bacterial infections and some tonsillitis. Albendazole- a de-worming tablet given to the over 2 years.  Zinc is given for diarrhoea to prevent a reduction in the immune system. Multivitamins are given as standard to nearly all patients that come through the door. Blood pressure meds and oral rehydration solution. Kez shampoo given for Tinus Corpetus, Vitamin A given frequently to children and Intra Muscular contraceptive injections.

The clinic also runs outreaches to neighbouring villages- in particular POS 10, about 10km away- to a local school, and to other local community centres at least once a week.  Basically taking a mobile clinic to the villages , providing nearly all the same facilities.

The Life Line clinic is a busy clinic and each day is varied, if it isn’t busy with medical conditions, then it maybe that a crowd of kids come by to see if we have any shoes, clothes or just to sit in the waiting room or hang around outside under the tree.  My work in the clinic came to an end in December – just in time for the Christmas party. Hot dogs, flap jack  and fizzy pop for the kids of POS 3. I Lasting memories of our Christmas photo around the Christmas tree- even the chief joined us!

Find out more about the Lifeline Clinic

Sarah McMurtrie


Of interest


Life after the Extreme Medicine Conference… our latest course roundup

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine

Life after the Extreme Medicine Conference, Wild and Desert Medicine courses in Namibia, Mountain Medicine returns from Nepal, Jobs and top tips
For those of you who missed the inaugural Extreme Medicine Conference…

‘Thanks for a FABULOUS course.   Truly awesome.   I thoroughly enjoyed it.   What a tremendous collection of people – both in the audience and upon the rostrum.’

‘I attended the extreme medicine conference this week and just wanted to say that it was absolutely amazing. I’d say that well over half of the talks caused shivers to run down my spine with anticipation and inspiration to pursue work in this field.’

‘Thank you so much for such an incredible conference last week. It was perhaps almost too inspiring! A great networking opportunity and thoroughly enjoyable.’

With speakers such as Mike Grocott, Gordon Giesbrecht, Kevin Fong to name but a few it was hard to go wrong but the sense of energy and purposed that filled the RSM was inspirational and building bridges between the various disciplines and areas of expertise created a clear sense of synergy.

We will be uploading videos of each of the lectures to a ‘members only’ area as soon as these are available for streaming. and you will be able to stream individual lectures and gain CME points – we will let you know as soon as this is all online.

We will be running our next Extreme Medicine Expo in Boston USA in the Autumn of 2013. If you’d like to know more about it please let Catherine know. Her email address is

Desert Medicine and the Wild Course.   Book both these highly rated and CME accredited courses to receive a great discounted price

Wild Medicine in the beautiful country of Namibia We are partnering with Dr Rudie van Vuuren and his team to bring you a very exciting opportunity to be in close proximity to the beautiful local wildlife at the sanctuary. We will be based at the stunning N/a’an ku sê Lodge so don’t expect that you’ll be roughing it too much. The main objective of the course is to educate you as to how we can integrate the diagnostic and problem solving skills of both human and animal health professionals with the knowledge of conservation professionals.   There is the opportunity as an optional extra to join Dr van Vuuren aerial tracking over Namibia amazing Namib Desert.

Combine this with Desert Medicine to receive 10% off.   Contact Catherine if you are interested

Our Desert Wilderness Medicine is based in Damaraland, an area bounded to the south by the spectacular Namib Desert, to the east by the Kalahari, Ovamboland to the North and the world famous Skeleton Coast to the west. Our training area is a stunning region close to the Doros Crater,  remote from civilisation, inhabited by an array of desert-adapted flora and fauna and with some of the most remarkable night skies in the world.

Jubilant Mountain Medicine course returns from Everest Base Camp

Another highly successful course has just returned from Nepal after being lead up to Everest Base Camp by Dr’s Luanne Freer, Martin Rhodes and John Apps and featuring a visit from Paul Auerbach.

The next course runs in late October and spaces are filling fast – click here to secure your place

How would you like to discover the excitement of Arctic Norway?

BSES requires an xperienced medic needed for Northern Norway adventure July-August 2012.For further details of this and other great expeditions run by this well-respected youth development organisation please see

Application forms online…

International World Extreme Medicine Conference & EXPO 2013 – BOSTON USA

Autumn in Boston; world class speakers, great networking & 31.75 CME & FAWN credits – DETAILS AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2012. Find out more >>


Quote ‘Expedition Medicine’ to receive very special RSM membership discounts.

Expedition Diving Mountain
Trauma Jungle Wild
Desert Polar Antarctic © Expedition & Wilderness Medicine 2011 Tel: +44 (0) 1476 879 013

EWM founder Mark Hannaford on the iconic Desert & Wilderness Medicine course

Desert & Wilderness Medicine CME accredited medical training course in Namibia

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.


Book your place on Desert Medicine now …

Of interest – Conservation ‘Wild Medicine’ in Namibia


Dr Christoffer van Tulleken joins the Desert Medicine Team in Namibia

Chris is currently an academic registrar at University College London Hospital in Infectious Disease and Tropical Medicine and has extensive experience of remote medicine and will be joining the Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Desert Medicine course in Namibia  in early May.

Chris has been the medical consultant and location medic for more than 12 documentary series including BBC’s Tribe, Amazon and Human Planet. He has also presented several documentaries about humanitarianism, science and remote indigenous societies. Desert Medicine course - Namibia

Filming with remote populations in Congo, Peru and Russia lead to humanitarian work. Chris is a Patron of the medical aid agency Merlin and is also on their Emergency Response Team. He has worked as a Medical Coordinator in emergencies in Burma, Central African Republic and Pakistan.

After many years of climbing Chris was part of the team on the 2008 Caudwell Xtreme Everest Research expedition to Cho Oyu. A trip to Uganda to study worms in Chimpanzees lead to his current interest at UCL in primate viruses.


Expedition Medicine medics involved with UNICEF challenges

Having participated in an Expedition and Wilderness Medicine training course can open up a whole network of contacts and opportunities, not only do expedition, media and travel organisations look more favourably on EWM trained medics who have participated in one of our courses we a have  an incredible network of contacts who are constantly on adventures, working remotely and who need remote medical cover.

Recently expedition medics have been working with UNICEF  and with a well known charity challenge compamy to provide medical cover on thier fundraising adventures – they are off to Namibia next and you can find out more about UNICEF’s fundraising expeditions here.


MDDUS interviews EWM Medical Director Dr Amy Hughes

MDDUS (Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland)  took the oppurtunity in one of the quiter periods in Expedition and Wilderness Medicines Medical Director Amy Hughes hectic schedule to interview her about her career in expedition medicine.

Dr Hughes co-leads the Mountain Medicine course in Nepal with Everest ER founder Dr Luanne Freer in October

View and download PDF

Extreme doctoring, expedition medic Dr Amy Hughes career


MDDUS (Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland) is an independent mutual organisation offering expert medico-legal advice, dento-legal advice and professional indemnity for doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals throughout the UK.


Wilderness Medical Society approves Desert Medicine course in Namibia for 20.5 CME

Feedback from delegates in our unique Desert Medicine medical training course in Namibia is feedback enough but the Wilderness Medical Society has also awarded it 20.5 CME points.

‘I had a fantastic time and feel like I learnt a lot. I will definitely be signing up for more courses and recommending the courses to people I know!’    Desert course participant.

Developed for medical professionals or advanced medics working in hot or arid climates. The Desert Medicine Course aims to introduce participants to the skills required to be a valuable member of a desert expeditionary team, and to care for and treat injuries and illness likely to occur in this fascinating environment.

Our Desert Medicine Course is based in Damaraland, an area bounded to the south by the spectacular Namib Desert, to the east by the Kalahari, Ovamboland to the North and the world famous Skeleton Coast to the west. Located near the famous Doros Crater, a massive volcanic crater formed over 140 million years ago. Our training area is a stunning region,  remote from civilisation, inhabited by an array of desert adapted flora and fauna and with some of the most remarkable night skies in the world. As a result of the recent changes in wildlife management in Namibia, the Doros Crater has been chosen as the region in which the endangered white rhinos are being released. It is a very exciting location inhabited by elephants, hyena, giraffe, rhinos, cheetahs and occasionally lions. It is almost unique in Namibia and for this reason we have endeavoured and been allowed to gain access to this virtually uninhabited area. Its the perfect location for our desert course.