It was a pleasure to have GPs Jenny Conway and Christine Harvey as our 2015 volunteer scholarship recipients.
It was a bit like the Amazing Race as Jenny and Christine spent 2 weeks in Sri Lanka in a range of health settings, including medical camps for the disabled and elderly, visits to an Aruyvedic and public hospital and camps in the orphanages and slums of Colombo. They stayed with a local family – enjoying the endless hospitality.
They were also surprised by the number of patients with hypertension, diabetes and arthritis yet very little obesity. Many of the children had dental issues but their general health was good. Having survived a 29 year civil war and a tsunami the psychological health of this largely Buddhist country was interesting as they appear to be very resilient and family orientated. Even in the slum areas children were spotlessly dressed with home-made clothes, often matching their siblings.
Jenny and Christine gave a terrific presentation about their experiences at our conference and encouraged others to enlist as volunteers in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.