Posted on 10 September, 2013

I decided to come on this trip many months ago after discussing with Dr John Wallace (Tonga Project Coordinator) about his many experiences with Open Heart International. John and I work together in Emergency Care at Sydney Adventist Hospital.

It sounded like a wonderful opportunity to experience medicine in an area of need and provide a service to those less fortunate. It has been amazing to see the pathology that exists here and the number of people affected particularly by rheumatic heart disease. It is not something that I have seen a lot of and I have been surprised by the incidence of it in Tonga. I have also been quite touched by how well the patients handle the severity of their medical condition. The Tongan people seem to take it in their stride and have such a happy positive nature which is a pleasure to treat.

Meaghan1 Meaghan2

I have also been very lucky to come along with an amazing team of doctors, nurses and allied health who are more than happy to teach and it has provided me with a great opportunity to refine a lot of clinical procedures and practice under expert guidance. There are also plenty of social events organized which is a great time to see the island and meet the Tongan people and spend time with the team in a more relaxed environment. All in all it has been an amazing experience clinically and culturally and I would highly recommend to other medical staff.

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