This week, Fifth and Sixth Form geographers were fortunate to hear a talk from Dr Hazel Morrison, a doctor who is currently working in the NHS in Bristol. Dr Morrison came to share her experiences working as a volunteer for Medicins Sans Frontiers when she spent nine months in South Sudan on a medical relief mission.
MSF especially targets pregnant women and children, since in South Sudan one to seven women die in pregnancy and one in ten children die before the age of five. In her work, Dr Morrison focused on treating pregnant women and on the nutrition children, describing how although there was a hospital where she was, it was not like the conventional hospital one would imagine. Many of the wards were tents which could be propped up or taken down at a moments’ notice. Some of the biggest problems the Dr Morrison faced were malnutrition and malaria and she told of a tragic case when a mother walked three days from her village, carrying her 13 year old son whom was infected with malaria, but by the time she arrived at the hospital, it was too late to treat. Some of her stories were very harrowing to hear. Our speaker also told of the large problems of severe malnutrition. The most important process in recovering from malnutrition is eating regularly, but MSF can only treat the children in the hospital so are also dependent on other charities, like the World Food Organisation.
Following the talk there was a Goudy Society Dinner where the Sixth form had the opportunity to ask Dr Morrison any further questions and learn a bit more about what she does day to day and see what her future plans are for doing voluntary work. Sixth Former, Jimmy Gleeson said: “Overall, I really enjoyed both the talk and dinner and it has given me a greater insight to what life is like in South Sudan and what we, as very privileged people, can do to help others who are less fortunate than us.”