St George Hospital staff provide medical care for hundreds in remote Africa
Six doctors and nurses from the St George Hospital Emergency Department recently travelled to Africa with Australian charity, Kenya Aid, to hold medical camps for people who live in the poorest province in Kenya.
The team – made up of doctors Ryan Snaith, Sarah Brockbank, Matt Fitzpatrick and Chris Lycett and nurses Sahn Zanot and Juliette Sheahan – took equipment and medicines, and helped provide free essential services and care for conditions such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Dr Ryan Snaith – who is also the President and Founder of Kenya Aid – said the trip was a huge success, despite it being the first time most of the team had travelled to Kenya.
“Kenya Aid runs a community hospital in a village called Shikunga in the Western Province. This area has one of the highest levels of poverty and the highest population density of any rural region of Kenya. It also has HIV rates varying between 10 to 20 per cent,” Dr Snaith said.
“During our trip, the St George Hospital team held three medical camps in surrounding villages and saw over 350 patients. The most common conditions we treated included severe malaria, pneumonia, HIV related disease, leishmaniases as well as diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
“Clinically, there were a number of challenges – we didn’t have access to radiology for diagnoses or treatment, and the types of blood tests available were limited. Also, because we're working in remote communities, it was also difficult to refer patients on for further tests due to distance and cost. This makes the diagnosis and management of things like heart disease and shortness of breath very challenging.
“Despite these barriers, the team were still able to make a big impact to the health of hundreds of people, which was extremely rewarding,” Dr Snaith said.
To learn more – including about the hospital the charity built in an isolated rural village – visit: https://kenyaaid.org/.