Doctors from five provinces attend AHP Orientation

Health professionals from five provinces attended an Africa Health Placements (AHP) Orientation session in Johannesburg, learning more about the diagnosis, treatment and management of HIV, TB and STI’s. 

Held over three days the meeting brought together 19 doctors from South Africa, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Botswana, the Netherlands, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, who works at healthcare facilities in Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Eastern Cape and Gauteng. The majority of doctors (13), were placed by AHP to help with doctor shortages in rural and underserved areas. Most of them have been in the country for less than six months.

By attending AHP’s Orientation Programme foreign-qualified doctors make sure they are prepared for life in a rural environment in South Africa. The programme, which focuses on clinical, cultural and logistical orientation, help integrates doctors into their teams and community, making the transition from their home country to rural South Africa as stress-free as possible.

Dr Ausi Nkhi, a TB expert and CEO of Nkenke Consultancy and Healthcare, facilitated the orientation session, sharing her wealth of experience and addressing doctors’ clinical needs.

The session also provided attendees an opportunity to learn from Dr Richard Cooke, an authority in rural health. Dr Cooke, a Family Physician and Lecturer at the Centre for Rural Health at the University of the Witwatersrand, talked about the South African healthcare system, sharing his experiences in rural public health.

Doctors welcomed the opportunity to connect with peers and built professional networks. They were also happy about the knowledge gained.

Dr Sindane Nga, a doctor from the DRC who works at the Brits District Hospital, said the session clarified many aspects about TB and HIV and encouraged health professionals to attend future sessions. Netherlands-born Dr Marthe Zeldenrust said the information will be useful in her work at the Tonga Hospital in Mpumalanga. Dr Thabo Monare, who works in the Bojanala District in North West, thought it was very educational and said it encouraged health professionals to study to improve their work.

Stacey Ann Pillay, AHP Recruitment Manager, said sessions like these give doctors the opportunity to share their experiences and build camaraderie during their time in South Africa. She said the orientation session not only sensitised doctors to diseases  such as TB, HIV, STI’s,  and the treatment and management thereof, but also offers practical support with ad hoc matters involved in moving to another country. “It also gives doctors the opportunity to meet their Recruitment Officer and build a long-term relationship with AHP”.