Glimpses of life found in the midst of tragedy
Andrew Brent reports on his South African elective
- By: Andrew Brent
Even before I arrived at Edendale Hospital its reputation as a war zone had reached me in the civilised corridors of Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital. The worst excesses of violence during the Apartheid era had marched through the hospital's departments. Gunshot and stab wounds are still the bread and butter of the surgical outpatients department.
I was there to do paediatrics and had only just arrived when I found myself caught up in the pace of the place. Minutes after climbing the seven flights of stairs to the paediatrics ward on the night I arrived, I found myself running after my registrar to resuscitate a neonate just delivered by caesarian section, and then another and another. This opportunity to be very involved was a hallmark of my time at Edendale and contributed greatly to making it a very rewarding and educational experience.
Teaching ward rounds each morning were excellent, and