A beacon of hope for poor people in rural Eastern Cape

THE Madwaleni Hospital, situated in one of South Africa's poorest districts, has overcome many hurdles to emerge as a shining light in Eastern Cape.

THE Madwaleni Hospital, situated in one of South Africa's poorest districts, has overcome many hurdles to emerge as a shining light in Eastern Cape.

The hospital, which delivers life-saving healthcare to a 120000-strong rural community, is now looking for replacements for its managing chief medical officer and HIV specialist.

Dr Richard Cooke will be moving on this month after five years and Dr Tom Boyles intends leaving Madwaleni by the middle of this year after three years.

This will create opportunities for two committed individuals to build on the excellent work that has already been done at the hospital.

The hospital's closest town Elliotdale-Xora, is 30km away, while Mthatha is 100km away and East London 220km. The spectacular Wild Coast is only 16km away.

Madwaleni has 180 beds in seven wards with an outpatients department and a HIV wellness and antiretroviral unit.

Two wards are for medical and surgical adult patients, three are dedicated to adults with HIV-TB and there is a paediatric ward and maternity unit.

"Those concerned that they might be bored outside work time, living in the middle of nowhere, must know that every evening and weekend is filled with activities, social events and adventures," said Lynne Wilkinson, who coordinated the HIV Wellness and ARV unit for five years.

Staffing, including doctors and allied health professionals, is unlikely to become problematic going forward since there are a number of initiatives to ensure continued recruitment and replacement of those leaving Madwaleni. - Health-e News

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