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Extreme Medicine news!

Extreme Medicine


South Pole Rescue

June 14, 2016 saw two Twin Otter aircraft leave Calgary on the first leg of a multi-stage intercontinental flight to the Amundsen-Scott Pole Station.

The purpose of the flight – a medevac of a Lockheed Martin employee requiring a level of medical care unavailable at the station.

Being mid-winter in Antarctica the crew faced severe weather challenges and extreme conditions, to pull-off this rescue.

Read the updates from Kenn Borek Air Ltd HERE and for some ligh-hearted interviews check out Global News’ article.

Explore the UK

Bothies are a great way to shelter and stay overnight out in the wilderness. Scattered throughout the UK, these shelters are very basic, often very remote and cannot be booked.

You could arrive at a bothy to find a group of fellow wilderness lovers just heating up a brew or your group could have the place to yourself – the great thing is, you won’t know until you arrive!

For more about bothies read Red Bull’s article and then head over to theMountain Bothies Association and plan your next adventure.

Are you working in an extreme environment?

STV Productions want to speak to medical practitioners working in remote, especially jungle, locations.

We’ve not got much info on this so if this sound like you, get in touch with STVHERE

Conservation projects for medics

If you’re a lover of nature and would love to work more closely with conservation projects, there’s loads out there for you.

As we say here at WEM, ‘where man goes, medicine must follow’ and conservation projects are part of that. You’ll be more than a medic, you’ll form part of the whole team and have opportunities to apply your skills in different areas.

Sea Shepherd (appearing at the Expo),Blue Ventures and Barefoot Conservation are great organisation to follow if you’d love to work near, in or on the sea. For land lovers the Naankuse Foundation and the Luangwa Safaris Association are great examples of opportunities open to you.

Whatever your favourite environment to work in, we’ve got a course to help you understand the challenges you may face. Check out our course page HERE.

Last chance for Polar Medicine

Fancy taking your clinical skills to cold environments? If you’re answering ‘yes’ then we’ve got something for you.

In just a few short weeks we’ll be just outside Wanaka with our team of expert cold weather lovers. From mountain summits to the North Pole our faculty has a huge and varied experience which they’re ready to share with you.

To find out more visit our Polar New Zealand course page, if the northern hemisphere is more suitable for you then how about joining us in Norway next February?

Friday fun

Head over to Life in the Fast Lane’s fantastic site and try your hand at the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five.

If you’ve ever wondered what percentage of the population find a stethoscope sexy you’ll want to give this quiz a go.



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]

Western Australia: Senior Medical Officer required

Find medical jobs in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Gulf Region, Canada and UK through Head Medical

Head Medical are looking for an experienced and adventurous UK trained generalist medical practitioner in rural Western Australia.  This is an incredible opportunity to use a wide scope of clinical skills and practice Indigenous Health.


Employers positively seek out members of the Expedition & Wilderness Medicine Community so please mention ‘EWM’ when enquiring...

Senior Medical Officer Rural Western Australia
£218,000 per annum + shift allowances car + accommodation

Located in rural Western Australia, this post may provide the adventure/challenge you are looking for. You will be working in the local indigenous community and making a true difference while also being exceptionally rewarded for your efforts.
The position requires a medical practitioner with extensive generalist experience, able to demonstrate emergency department and primary health care knowledge and skills. The post enables a wide scope of clinical practice in Indigenous health while working closely within a supportive team of friendly staff.
·         UK trainedHeadMedical1
·         MRCGP
·         Minimum 10 years GP experience
Western Australia is one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world, you will have the chance to explore the outback and the state is home to some the planets best diving and beaches.
If you would like to know more about the above post or have a chat regarding exploring your overseas employment options please don’t hesitate to contact Yan on +44 (0)131 240 5274 or via yan@headmedical.comLinks:
Wild Medicine – Conservation Conference, Namibia
Extreme Medicine Conference, London
Sir Ranulph Fiennes



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


Latest EWM news; iphone app for Extreme Medicine Conference, Mountain Medicine Nepal, members area & upcoming courses

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine

Upcoming Courses & Remote Medicine News:  2 weeks to go until the Extreme Medicine Conference, Mountain Medicine in Nepal departing soon and new developments at EWM
A week to go to the Extreme Medicine Conference iphone App release!  Book your place now….

With the Extreme Medicine Conference at the Royal Society of Medicine just over a fortnight away we have been adding the finishing touches to iphone app which is now with Apple for their final approval and we hoping to have this ready for release the week before.  Featuring the lecture content, speaker profiles, exhibitors and the student poster competition plus loads more information we are really pleased with the results and excited at being able to share all the behind the scenes hard work   We will also be announcing the winner of the inaugural EWM Remote Medicine Awards, thank you to all of you who have voted as the response has been superb, in the next fortnight and the winner will be featured on the app.With contributors coming from all over the world recently confirmed are Kevin Fong an expert with a special interest in human space exploration & extreme environment physiology, columnist for the Times Higher Education magazine and presenter of the recently aired critical acclaimed BBC Horizon documentaries Back from the Dead and How to Mend a Broken Heart.   Joining him will be Ben Major  presenter of the multi-BAFTA winning series Serious Explorers for BBC1 and consultant on series such as Tribe, Human Planet, Frozen Planet, Last Man Standing, Extreme Dreams and Adrenaline Junkies.

From Canada From Canada Gordon Giesbrecht Professor of Thermophysiology at the University of Manitoba and who Outdoor Magazine titled “Professor Popsicle” combines well-published research with extensive Arctic expedition experience, and a passion for educating people on hypothermia, frostbite and cold weather survival.

Mountain Medicine, Nepal with Dr Luanne Freer founder of EverestER

If the Extreme Medicine Conference isn’t your thing but you are at loose end in a fortnights time there is a last minute space available with a last minute discount.Join Luanne and Doctors Martin Rhodes & John Apps from the medical team at Union Glacier in Antarctica on an amazing CME accredited adventure whilst helping to raise much needed funds for EverestER..

Contact us for more information.

***New dates for later in the year 22nd October to 8th November – sign up here.***

Working hard for remote medicine

Alongside delivering highly rated remote medicine courses, establishing a comprehensive student intern program and a world class extreme medicine conference the EWM team has also been really busy behind the scenes…..Due for release in the next fortnight is a brand new members area, free of charge to all, but a point of access for CME accredited videos, remote medicine jobs, special kit and travel offers and access to a community of like-minded medical professionals keep your eyes peeled for more news on these exciting developments…

Upcoming courses in the near future – take your pick!

International World Extreme Medicine Conference & EXPOHosted by the Royal Society of Medicine London with world class speakers, great networking & 31.75 CME credits. Find out more >>
CLICK TO VIEW THE EXPEDITION & WILDERNESS MEDICINE COURSESQuote ‘Expedition Medicine’ to receive very special RSM membership discounts.
Expedition Diving Mountain
Trauma Jungle Wild
Desert Polar Antarctic

Recruiting a doctor for the Lifeline Clinic in Namibia

This is a fantastic remote medicine job opportunity to work with the remarkable San Bushmen in our well-resourced Lifeline clinic in rural Namibia. We are looking for a doctor to start in May 2012 for 1 year or longer.

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.Remote Medicine jobs in Namibia

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 and/or contact

N/a’an ku sê Foundation, P.O. Box 99292, Windhoek, Namibia.

T: +264 (0) 817 438 505

Of  interest;


Conservation Course in Namibia accredited for CME

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’s new Conservation Medicine course in Namibia has been accredited for 16.5 CME

Located at the stunning N/a’ankuse Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary only 42kms east of Windhoek is Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’s new Conservation Medicine Course. This truly unique lodge is set amidst a natural savannah, with riverine vegetation, lush grass plains and magnificent mountain views, and offers a malaria free Wild Medicine course.

The main objective of the course is to educate attendees 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. Ultimately this should help all concerned to better manage the environment and biodiversity to the benefit of all the inhabitants of our beautiful planet.

The emerging interdisciplinary field of conservation medicine, which integrates human and veterinary medicine and environmental sciences, is largely concerned with  zoonose. At the present time there is very little sharing knowledge in both an academic and practical session and this course serves to address this significant gap.

To book your place


Of interest – Desert & Wilderness Medicinal Training Course


Medical volunteering posts in Namibia


Our aim is to provide volunteers with the wonderful opportunity to contribute to the medical welfare of the San community and experience unspoiled African wilderness. Our volunteers are key to the success of this special place. All the money raised through our volunteering programme goes directly back into the project which provides employment, healthcare, education and accommodation to the local Bushman and to ensure the rescue, survival and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured African wildlife.

Namibia truly is a wonderful country to experience, the scenery is spectacular and you will work with our friendly and dedicated team. If you come prepared to learn and to give your best you will be rewarded with a fantastic experience and wonderful memories to take home.

We do hope you will come and join us!


The N/a’an ku se Foundation is host to the 2012 Conservation Medicine Conference



During the project you will spend your time at our remote San (Bushman) clinic in rural east Namibia.  The village homes around 500 San and Herero villagers and the clinic is at the heart of the community.  Here, you will assist our Doctor and Nurse with the running of the Lifeline Clinic and help provide primary healthcare to the local community. You will provide hands on support at the clinic, participating in observations, running reception and helping in the dispensary. You will deal closely with patients from the local San community, learn more about their way of life and give care to patients living in extreme poverty at the clinic’s remote location.

Your arrival and departure base will be our N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary, near Windhoek Airport, so if you choose you can also have the unique opportunity to stay here a few days and work with the animals here. The Lifeline Clinic is in Epukiro (or Pos 3 as it’s commonly known), approximately a 5 hour drive from the sanctuary and we will arrange all your transfers.  Our aim is to provide volunteers with the wonderful opportunity to experience African wilderness in the knowledge that they are contributing to improving the lives of the people of Namibia.

Medical Volunteering Programme – Download PDF with full details



This 10 day programme offers a unique opportunity to play a hands on part in the conservation of wild cheetah, enabling you to work up close with these incredible animals and contribute towards their welfare. N/a‘an ku sê plays a vital role in rescuing and releasing threatened cats in Namibia to help reduce humanwildlife conflict. The overriding aim of our study is to alleviate existing human-wildlife conflicts using new approaches and assess whether translocations of cheetah and leopard are a viable long-term option for dealing with so-called ‘problem animals’. Since our programme began in 2008 we have rescued and released 41 cheetahs, 20 leopards and 3 brown hyena.

We have 4 release sites: NamibRand Nature Reserve, Sandfontein Nature Reserve, Solitaire and our Windhoek study site. Our new research base in the stunning area of Solitaire hosts a 500 hectare soft release boma for cheetahs.

Only large carnivores who have been held in captivity for long periods of time, or who have been rehabilitated from ill health, undergo a soft release rather than a hard release back into the wild. Cheetahs stay in this soft release site in order to acclimatise to the area and learn how to fend for themselves once again. The duration of their stay depends on how successfully the cat adapts to their new environment but can be between 6- 12 months.

You can also combine your 10 day programme in Solitaire with an additional stay at N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary and Windhoek Research Study Site, which you can do before or after your Solitaire trip.

Carnivore Conservation Volunteering Programme| Solitaire – Download PDF with full details


To apply please contact Lucy Hale| – please mentioned ‘Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’


of interest

Desert & Wilderness CME accredited medical training course

Conservation Medicine CME accredited medical training course


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