After LIME, I caught many planes to finally make it to Zanzibar in Tanzania. Zanzibar is a coastal island part of Tanzania that has a fascinating history. It’s known for two big things: for being the home of spice and for being the eastern hub of human slave trading in Africa.

Zanzibar is a predominantly Muslim region which largely reflects its slavery history. Made of a couple of islands, it has a tropical feel with a mix of traditional Africa and the Middle East – an interesting combination.I started off my rotations in Mnazi Mmoja hospital in paediatrics once again. Once again, the breadth of disease here and the differences to home were fascinating. I can’t say I’ve ever been in a paediatric ward that had entire rooms dedicated to “sicklers”, or children with sickle cell anaemia.

As expected malaria plays a large role in disease here, as well as many other communicable diseases.

What I found hardest about this placement though was dealing with a sheer lack of resources. I knew that things would be limited but I was unsure what this would look like practically. What it did mean is that you bring your own food to the ward as an inpatient.

It also meant many beds in one room to fit all the children who needed to be there. It also unfortunately meant that the prognosis for many conditions that we manage well at home is much poorer here, children with cerebral palsy struggling with life after the ward.

I found these couple of weeks very moving and difficult if I’m being honest. It took me the first week to find a balance between being human and being upset by what I see, (but what is so accepted here), and what I need to do as a professional. I’d be lying if I said that I found this easy, by any means.

Next up for the final segment of my elective, I will be doing a mixture of NICU and maternity. Wish me luck!