South Africa


June 22, 2013

Our last weekend

We decided to experience some more South African culture during our last weekend of our trip. On Saturday, we headed to uShaka Marine World. uShaka opened in 2004 and offers an aquarium, a beach, and an amusement park. Most of our day was spent at the aquarium. The shark tank was by far our favorite. On Sunday we headed to Tala Game Reserve before heading to King Shaka Airport. We had a great Ranger for our guided game drive. We were able to see rhinoceroses, zebras, wildebeests, hippopotamuses and numerous other animals. We all had a wonderful time on our trip and we learned so much. We are...
Read More
June 20, 2013

Durban Discoveries

On Thursday (6/13) we said our goodbyes to Port Shepstone and the lovely friends we made with both staff at Murchison Hospital and with the Johns Hopkins group. Our journey back was beautiful and we arrived safely in Durban. We met with a man from McCord Hospital’s former HIV+ choir. We discussed the many amazing accomplishments of the choir and his perspective on South African healthcare. We then gave him clothing donations that we had gathered in the US from friends and family for him to give to a local community. On Friday (6/14) we traveled to the University of KwaZulu-Natal to meet with...
Read More
June 19, 2013

TB/HIV Drug Adherence Presentation

This morning (June 12th), I had my presentation on TB/HIV drug adherence for nurses at the outpatient department. I started my presentation with questions on what the nurses think the main reasons are why patients default from the medication regimen. The nurses shared their thoughts with genuine concern about the issues. Poverty, lack of knowledge, stigma, stopping treatment after patients feel better, medication side effects, lack of food, and belief in traditional healers were the main reasons that the nurses thought the patients do not adhere to the regimen. These factors coincide with...
Read More
June 18, 2013

South African Food

On Monday (6/10/13) we had our very first authentic South African dinner catered by Stephan and his staff. It was absolutely delightful! South Africans usually have a typical dish called Samp & Beans. We enjoyed this with some curried chicken, home baked bread, rice, and homemade soup. I was surprised on how much curry is used in South African food and how everyone has their own way of making Samp & Beans. One way of making it is to combine black-eyed peas and pinto beans with onion, potatoes, tomato, and curry powder where the texture becomes somewhat like a potato salad. Although...
Read More
June 9, 2013

Weekend Adventures x2

Yesterday (Saturday) our group was introduced to the South African wildlife, up close and personal. We started our morning driving to Lake Eland Game Preserve, a wildlife area about an hour east of Port Shepstone, nestled in the Oribi Gorge. We happened across a group of baboons hanging out in the road even before making it to the entrance! Without hiring a guide, our group paid the 40 rand entrance fee ($4.00 US) per person to start our adventure. Dr. Corless was our fearless driver, tackling treacherous roads in search of our favorite animals. The preserve hosts a myriad of diverse wildlife...
Read More
June 8, 2013

Attempting to Reciprocate

2013/06/07 ( South African entry of the date). One of the ways we’re attempting to thank our hosts for their kindness in allowing us to observe care in their clinics and medical units is to help them with the transfer of paper-based information on their TB register to an electronic record. This will be forwarded to the national Department of Health for TB reporting. The inability of various databases to communicate is one familiar to us in the U.S. Indeed the V.A. has this very problem in attempting to access the records of servicemen so they can be eligible for care. The catch-up effort is...
Read More
June 6, 2013

Stephan's Guest House

Today, I am going to talk about Stephan's Guest House, the B&B at which we are staying. When the owner, Stephan came from Germany to visit his uncle in Port Shepstone in 2004, he was amazed by the beautiful views around his uncle's property which was situated right in front of the beautiful Tweni beach and Port Shepstone Country Club. He then wanted to build a B&B Guest House right next to his uncle's house to share the beautiful scenery with others. Stephan's Guest House was opened with three guest rooms in 2005. He has continued to add more rooms and amenities for his guests. Now he...
Read More
June 6, 2013

South Coast Hospice

On June 5th, half of our team went to the South Coast Hospice. The South Coast Hospice was established in 1983 and focused on a home care program for terminally ill people. Over the years, an in-patient unit has opened, the Integrated Community-based Home Care model was developed, and mental health counseling services have been introduced. On our day here, we each went out with a different Home Based Care team. The goal of the MDR-TB team is to provide MDR-TB patients with their injections. The standardized MDR-TB regimen in South Africa consists of an intensive phase (also called injectable...
Read More