As a volunteer Doctor who has come back to support us time and time again, we wanted to ask Dr Sics a few questions about his returning visits.
When did you first come across On Call Africa and why did you decide to be involved?
I volunteered first for VSO in 2011-12, aged 58, and was posted with my wife to Burkina Faso, I worked in the emergency department of a peripheral hospital, I had had no tropical medicine experience, but found it so interesting that when we returned to the UK I enrolled on the DTM&H diploma course at Liverpool, with the intention of working in Africa further.
My next posting was to Sierra Leone, working for 6 months on a pediatric ward in an isolated hospital. On returning to the UK I was asked to make a presentation to the students at the London and the Liverpool Tropical Medical Schools. It was during the other organisations’ presentations that I first learned of On Call Africa, and decided this was a good project to work on. So, I applied and was accepted in 2015.
I am a GP, and really enjoyed the experience with On Cal Africa as it was much more within my experience from working in primary care in the UK.
When you are not volunteering with On Call Africa, what are you busy doing?
After working in Burkina Faso, I retired from full time general practice. However, I continued as a locum in my former practice, where I still work one day a week when in the UK.
Other than my medical work, I run a small holding with my wife, we have sheep, horses, poultry and a pig. As well as being self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables at various times of the year.
I’ve had a disorganised flower garden for the last 40 years across the three houses I’ve lived in. I’m always trying new ways of generating plants for the garden, including native orchids, and non native tree ferns.
I also enjoy watercolour painting, although I am not very good at it. When out in Zambia last time, I painted with another volunteer on our weekends off.
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