Conquering the Devil

Emily Glasscock
July 16, 2013

One of the most iconic things to do in Cape Town is to hike the three big peaks (Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and Devil’s Peak). Our group finished the last of the three (Devil’s) this past weekend. It was a spectacular hike, with magnificent views, an assortment of flora and scenery. Like the others, it was an intensely steep climb that required both hands and feet to make it to the top. However, once we made it to the top we quickly forgot our struggles. The 360 degree view of the cityscape was amazing. Pictures can not even begin to depict how beautiful it was, but enjoy! 

In other, possibly more important news…

We have arrived in Mpumalanga and received our placements for the week at the tertiary care hospital. This morning I was able to spend several hours with an HIV specialist as he had various consultations with the “complicated cases”. In the HIV clinic “complicated cases” have become solely the non-compliant patients. Though receiving ARV treatment in South Africa is free, we have found that an abundance of patients refuse to take the proper regimen. The seriousness of defaulting on first-line treatment does not seem to sink in for them, and once they have defaulted on first-line they will almost assuredly default on the second-line as well. Defaulting on both means that the patient will likely not live more than a couple of years, if even that long. It is absolutely heart-breaking. The patients either 1) don’t have enough education to understand what is happening to their body or 2) don’t have the motivation for living. I have been brought to tears on multiple occasions. However, I am quite excited for the rest of the week. Our group will be observing in just about every unit imaginable (Pediatric, TB, Trauma, Surgery, Neurology, Internal Medicine, Mental Health, Antenatal, Labor, Neonatal, post-labor, satellite day clinics, and more!)

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Emily Glasscock

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Emily Glasscock is a sophomore who is studying nursing at Auburn University. She loves to participate in a variety of activities, from backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking to photography and designing handmade jewelry. In the time that she spends in South Africa, she hopes to soak in a lot of first-hand knowledge that will give her experience and insight into the difficulties developing nations face in the field of healthcare. She knows that her time abroad will be invaluable and thus she cannot wait to share a bit of her experiences with you!</span></div>

2013 Summer 1, 2013 Summer 2
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