Ladies, feet washing and goodbye curry

Mary Hopper delivered a talk that usually marks part of a 30 hour course over 6 weeks. In 55 minutes.

Your race is a constant.
Your culture constantly changes.

She recommended reading a book called “Desert Flower”, by Waris Dirie.

She mentioned that simple things like Dermatology books rarely have pigmented skin, making medicine itself culturally inaccessible, but then Marli emailed me an African Skin Guide, which is not added to my ridiculous pile of things I need to read…

African culture Day Ten: More Women’s Health

Mary Hopper talked to us again, this time looking at the impact of not understanding culture on care…

There has been lots of awareness throughout the course about the impact of culture. Most of the speakers through the last two weeks have mentioned the shocks and surprises of moving between the developed and developing world.

Pregnant patient in theeatre Day Nine: Women’s Health

Birth complications means many women end up with fistulas that leak urine and faeces continuously. Women are socially ostracised.

We watched the story of a lady called Mastula, and her experience of her life being turned upside down by a fistula. Lifetime risk of dying from childbirth and pregnancy. In the west it is 1 in 4300. In Afghanistan, it is 1 in 11.

Justice in a jug. Watery justice.

There is a female bay on one of the surgical wards in our hospital. 6 beds, 6 women. Usually this is fine, people get on well, they chat, they eat, they sleep, they get better and, eventually, they go home. Sometimes, however, there can be problems.

2 nights ago, one of the patients, Doris, an elderly lady with dementia, spent the night shrieking, and making a fuss. This has an impact on everyone in the bay; no one had much sleep that night.