Many may wonder what life is like for a rural doctor in South Africa.
Dr Matsobane Lekalakala will tell you that there is no better experience and that working in a rural area is about having the will to serve.
He sat down with PSM to tell his story of rising against adversity to achieve his goal – serving his country and helping those in need of medical attention. “
I have always had a desire to serve my community, especially in the health sector Rural doctor.
Throughout my childhood a doctor never treated me, a nurse always attended to me.
I wanted to bring change to my community so I chose to work in a rural area, well aware that there is a shortage of doctors in the country,” he says.
Dr Lekalakala speaks with much enthusiasm about his life at Thabaleshoba Health Care Centre, which is near Rebone, about 100 kilometres from Polokwane, Limpopo.
During the interview Dr Lekalakala is called away to attend to a young man from a neighbouring village.
The young man has an open wound on his ear that won’t stop bleeding. Once he has helped his patient he returns to his offi ce where the next batch of patients, about 15 of them, are queuing for medical attention.
Dr Lekalakala sees an average of between 36 to 40 patients a day Rural doctor.
“It’s hard work but at the end of the day I feel fulfi lled. Most of my patients are elderly and come from impoverished circumstances.
They wait patiently for their turn to see me. Seeing the smiles on my patient’s face after treating them is enough for me and makes it all worth it.”
Lessons learnt from Cuba Dr Lekalakala, 33, grew up in Tiberius, also a rural area in Limpopo. He received medical training in Cuba through a bursary programme
by the Department of Health that helps young people study medicine in Cuba and then return home to work in local hospitals.
Dr Lekalakala was trained at the Santa Clara Superior Medical Science Institute.
One of the important lessons he learnt in Cuba is the need to prevent diseases before they happen. “The Cubans are taught health education at schools
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