Health and medical news from Tristan da Cunha and its Camogli Hospital.


Tristan da Cunha Administrator Evacuated

Administrator Sean Burns has been evacuated to Cape Town after falling seriously ill.
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Tristan Assists with Maritime Medical Emergencies

Report and photos by Jason Ivory

MV Penelope I

The disaster management team had to deploy earlier this week. The bulk carrier Penelope I put out an SOS on Monday 3rd October 2022 (as they had a sick crew member on board), with Tristan being the closest inhabited land - at that point she was still 800 miles away (three days sailing). She appeared offshore early Thursday morning (6th October) and the island's RIB was deployed with the doctor on board. The crew member was safely transferred from the vessel to the island hospital where he is now recovering. The Penelope I continued on her way (travelling from Brazil to Japan) having stopped for less than one hour - time is precious for commercial vessels. Every day brings a new challenge in this remote environment...

MV Penelope I off Tristan

MV Penelope I off Tristan

Island RIB with medevac RIB entering the harbour with medevac
Island RIB with medevac entering Calshot Harbour

The RIB approaches the  Penelope I

The bulk carrier dwarfs the RIB as she approaches to transfer the medevac

MV Duke

A similar incident occurred on the 29th May 2022, when the unladen MV Duke stopped at Tristan to transfer a sailor who had suffered a stroke. The Rescue RIB Atlantic Dawn attended the ship, supported by the Conservation RIB Arctic Tern. Rough seas, with waves up to 5 metres high, meant that multiple attempts were necessary, and at one point the Duke had to reposition a mile offshore. However, the patient was lowered successfully by stretcher to the Atlantic Dawn where he was cared for by a waiting doctor. Once in the harbour, the stretcher was lifted by crane to the island's ambulance. The operation took a total of two and a half hours. The patient was stabilised in the Camogli Healthcare Centre, and later repatriated via Cape Town on the island's cargo vessel MV Lance in June, accompanied by nurse Kumi Joubert.

Island RIBs picking up a medevac from the MV Duke in choppy seas. Video courtesy of Kelly Green

New X-Ray Set-up at the Hospital

Report from Dr Alex Wonner. Photo from Vera Glass

DR X-Ray equipment being installed the Camgoli Healthcare Centre.

Nicky Swain and Leo Glass from the IT department setting up the new DR x-ray reader for Camogli Healthcare Centre.

The Camogli Healthcare Centre has recently endured a period without a functioning digital radiography (DR) panel, but a new DR panel from Vieworks was brought to Tristan by the SA Agulhas II during the short visit on the 13th August 2021.

The hospital is very thankful to finally have the new DR panel up and running. It is a very good quality imaging system and we hope it will last as long or even longer than the previous one. The X-ray images are definitely much sharper and the processing is instant, done directly on the panel. With the previous system, we had first to put the plate into a developer.

The old equipment did however give us good service for over ten years. The hospital will therefore try to fix the software of the previous machine and keep it as a spare, if it is possible and not too expensive. Being so remote, it is difficult to be without essential tools.

HMS Forth Delivers Coronavirus Vaccines to Tristan

Tristan's supply of COVID-19 vaccines was delivered on 21st April 2021 by HMS Forth,
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Jonathan's Story

Celebrating Jonathan Repetto's recovery from serious illness and his continuing effort to improve his health.
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Stamp issue: Mid Atlantic Healthcare

These stamps illustrate the history of healthcare on Tristan da Cunha.
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Medical Emergency on the MFV Edinburgh

A crew member on the MFV Edinburgh, taken ill at Tristan, received medical assistance on the island and was successfully evacuated to Cape Town for hospital treatment.
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Island Council takes steps to protect island from coronavirus

Visitor ban announced until further notice
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Page Updated: Tristan da Cunha Healthcare History

Summary of history of healthcare on Tristan, from provision by missionaries to the first permanent hospital.
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