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Voices: Dr James Barnacle (United Kingdom)

Dr James Barnacle (United Kingdom)
Placement: Daeyang LukeHospital, Malawi
Dates: 2017 – present

Daeyang Luke Hospital is a 10-year-old 200-bed part-government, part-private Korean donor sponsored missionary hospital on the northern outskirts of Lilongwe. It shares the Daeyang Luke campus with a nursing school and ICT college and there is construction of a new medical school ongoing, aimed to be finished by the end of 2019. I have just finished a 4-week induction for my medical council registration in the medical department at Kamuzu Central Hospital, the tertiary government hospital for the central region. The central hospital is woefully ill-equipped except for its HIV and TB services. My induction was a baptism of fire, I led the one of the medical teams from day one with support from clinical officers and medical students. The pathology is amazing, although the lack of diagnostics means that often a final diagnosis is never found. I had my first official day at Daeyang today, where I will be working as a medical ‘registrar’ as well as hopefully focusing on quality improvement at the hospital and bringing it closer to the standard that will be expected of a teaching hospital. The clinical director is a Malawian general surgeon, there is an American obstetrician and a brand-new Belgian (AHP) paediatrician. Otherwise the hospital is run by Malawian medical and clinical officers with a separate government-funded HIV outpatient department. I am living in luxurious brand-new on-site catered accommodation! So far, I am loving the culture, country and Chicheŵa.