A Typical Day

Rising at 6.30/7 am volunteers prepare for their day at clinic with breakfast at the volunteer centre. Except during the rain season, which can vary in both length and severity from year to year, the walk to the clinic takes approximately 10 mins. It is an opportunity for volunteers to enjoy the early morning quietness of the village surroundings before meeting the hustle and bustle of a crowded and busy clinic.

Patients begin arriving at the clinic from seven am and are queueing to see the doctors and nurses before the volunteer medical staff arrive one hour later.

The day-to-day work is varied and unpredictable. The clinic work is a mix of general practice/ out -patient department / A and E. Patients are seen, treated and allowed to return home or are admitted to the day ward or a longer stay ward. In some instances where necessary, patients are transferred by Trust ambulance to Monkey Bay hospital for further examination and treatment. Patients who are transferred by ambulance are always accompanied by medical staff.

The clinic finishes for lunch at 12.30. Volunteers return to the volunteer centre for a welcome meal. Because the volunteer centre is located on the beach, lunch is sometimes preceded by a cooling swim in the lake.  The Trust cooks Joab and Edward prepare lunch for the volunteers each day from Monday to Friday. In the absence of supermarkets and fast food outlets this ensures that  a good meal is available to everyone during the working week. Lunch is followed by a rest or a chat before returning to work at 2pm. After lunch on weekdays, mini lectures by volunteers on clinical subjects are welcomed and are sometimes presented.

Afternoons at the clinic may be a little less busy. The last patient is seen by 4.30 pm and local staff and volunteers complete their days work. The on-call medical staff take over and only emergency cases are seen and treated until the following morning.


Patients presenting with Covid-19 symptoms have not, so far, been seen at the clinic. Social distancing, hand washing and community awareness campaigning is ongoing as we hope to avoid the virus.

With the ongoing drastic reduction of supply of electricity from the national grid, funded by Billys USA, we are now solar powered both in the clinic and at the gap.
Dr Eugene Meyer a noted ophthalmic surgeon from South Africa and his South African nursing assistants travel to the Billy clinic 3/4 times per year performing cataract surgery and other procedures.