A Slice of Life

Travel Effect - Being a doctor in Africa for Doctors without Borders

───   11:25 Thu, 21 Mar 2013

The Travel Effect finds out what it is like to be a doctor in Africa and travelling with Doctors without Borders.

Band-Aid for a Broken Leg is an inspiring account of Damien Brown, an Australian doctor who is posted in Africa working for Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres).

Born and raised in South Africa, Damien Brown relocated to Melbourne as a child with his family. Seeking an alternate medical education experience, Damien practiced tropical medicine in Thailand before accepting a six month post in Angola, Africa. He arrives to a mud-hut village, with a make-shift hospital full to the brim of patients presenting with a range of injuries, illness and diseases. Apart from communicating with his ex-pat colleagues at the Hospital- Tim, Andrea and Pascall- Damien must quickly learn Portuguese if he wants to earn the respect as head doctor in this tight-knit community. He soon realises that his western training in logic and complex medical machines and processes is of little use in Angola and he must get back to basics, connect with the locals and understand a foreign culture.

When his post comes to an end, Damien struggles to assimilate back into a Western hospital in Australia and is soon in a debriefing for another post in Sudan where he spends another six months. With some experience under his belt, Damien has more confidence in this country yet is presented with much more confronting issues pertaining to war and corruption.

I wanted to know from Damien how does diseases affect people’s lives?
While working in Africa he got quite a few wedding proposals – I wanted to know wht that was like?
While reading his book I found it very funny how Michael Bolton made it to Angola. Listen to the podcast to find out why Michael Bolton is part of this story.

All three podcasts are at the bottom of the page, take a listen :-)

For more info on Damien Brown visit: Australian Doctors

If you want to order his book “Band-aid for a broken leg” visit Penguin Books


Damien Brown - How disease effects people's lives:

Damien Brown - Getting wedding proposals in Angola:

Damien Brown - Even Michael Bolton made it to Angola:

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