Cherry W

Australia | July 2014

There will be as many opinions on how to help the Bushman as there are interested individuals wanting to help and there are no easy answers. What the clinic in Pos 3 provides is ongoing medical treatment to the Bushman at a standard that they would often miss out on. This is due either to the poor accessibility of healthcare in such remote areas or dismissive attitudes they encounter when they do seek help from State run clinics.

In my two weeks here what I have seen is that the clinic is able to provide simple frontline general practice care for the Bushman but importantly to pick up and help manage serious life threatening cases or neglected health conditions which can become life threatening. The two doctors presently based here do everything possible to have these cases treated, by visiting them in their huts, driving them to hospital, talking to relatives, talking to specialists, other doctors in the hospitals to advocate for their right to be cared for appropriately and not dismissed.

The clinic is treating simple health problems daily but every week there are a cases of serious pathology and lives are saved. It is working at the ground level slowly plodding along helping the Bushman at the individual level and not making sweeping changes. However by the contact with individuals, providing increased standards of care and giving some health education along the way it is making a difference.

I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to be involved in this process for the past two weeks and have seen what can be achieved. My advice to volunteers is to never think that any case is too difficult to help and to be positive that something can always be done to help the Bushman.

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