Easter Egg Distribution

Every year the society encourages students from Medical School to bring Easter eggs through to be distributed to the children in Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

This year, on 23 May, members of the surgical society and about 15  other volunteers, distributed thousands of Easter Eggs to the children’s wards. The Smile Foundation had run a similar drive, amplifying the joy and amount of children that we were able to reach. A special thank you to David Rooken-Smith for being the Easter bunny and bringing countless smiles and giggles to all the children.

Kilimanjaro Launch

The Wits Students’ Surgical Society was proud to launch the Kilimanjaro Challenge 2016. This launch took place on 3 May 2016 at the Marie Curie Lecture Theatre on the Wits Health Sciences Campus. Speakers included Sean Disney, Marketing Director of Adventure Dynamics International, who is the first South African to have completed the grand slam, which refers to summiting the seven summits as well as skiing to the North and South Poles; Hedley Lewis, Executive Director of the Smile Foundation and Graeme Moore, project leader of the Kilimanjaro Challenge 2014 who shared his team’s experience of the challenge.

A provisional team has been assembled and we would like to invite anyone who would still like to be a part of the project in any way (including fundraising or other supporting roles) to contact us.

This project is sure to be a great success. Keep watching this space!

Alex Clinic Outreach

Alex Clinic

Our Alex Clinic Outreach program provides medical students with an opportunity to attend a night call at Alexandra Community Heath Centre (CHC). The CHC cultivates great potential for inquisitive students to learn, giving students the opportunity to practice diagnostic skills at acute patient care; suturing skills on patients deemed appropriate by the doctor on call; trauma in the trauma bay, and obstetrics at the maternity ward.

The Alex Clinic Outreach program was started in December 2012, but unfortunately had to be halted at the end of 2014. In May this year, the Wits Students’ Surgical Society was finally able to relaunch this project and continue sending students to the Clinic on the last Friday of each month. We are very fortunate to have the following parties, without whom the trips would not be possible, involved: ABSA for transportation; Olive and Plates for the food, the student volunteers and, most importantly, the Faculty of Health Sciences Office.

On the 27th May 2016, I gathered with a group of 6 fellow medical students spanning from GEMP I to GEMP IV, all of us geared up for the long night ahead of us. Each student carried their own equipment and a fuel-filled bag that would maintain their energy levels to survive the night.

We embarked at 19h00 on the familiar route to Sandton, only turning at the last minute into Alexandra Township. Upon arriving at the CHC, we familiarised ourselves with the clinic that was to be our home for the night.

The queue was already saturated with patients; nurses and the on-call doctor were busy with patients, and everything at the CHC was running in full gear. We placed our bags in the drip room and charged towards the mounting patient files. Dividing ourselves into teams that consisted of a junior (GEMP I and II) paired with a senior (GEMP III and IV), we got to work. The first laceration was sutured, the first drip inserted and a number of patients were clerked by the team within the first few minutes of the visit.

As the night went on, junior and senior students alike gained valuable knowledge and skills, as well as the confidence that comes with experience and practice.

Eventually, the first rays of dawn shone on the winter-swept Alexandra Township, signalling for us to return to Wits Medical School.

All in all, the first Alex Trip was a great success, with everything running seamlessly. I would like to thank the staff at Alexandra Clinic for all their wonderful assistance and for giving our students this opportunity to learn. The knowledge you have bestowed upon us is invaluable. I, for one, learnt a lot from the trip and I am certain that any other student who attends Alex Clinic would agree.

MSC Sports Day Suturing Competition

On Wednesday 11th May 2016 the Wits Medical Students’ Council hosted their annual sports day and the Wits Students’ Surgical Society had the opportunity to host our annual suturing competition.

Many students joined us for an afternoon of fun and spirited competitive suturing! Contestants were judged on their suturing technique, neatness and speed. Congratulations go to our competition winner Victoria Stock and runner-up Michael Douglas-Henry.

Students were also given the opportunity to learn and be treated to some basic-suturing demonstrations. Thank you to all those that visited the stall and participated. A great afternoon was had by all!