St Francis Hospital is part of the local community, it is not part of the tourist trail and the people who use the services come from the local area, often from very rural villages.
When you are here we want people to have respect for you and what you have to offer – much of this comes from how you present yourself and by showing respect to others and considering their feelings, not only at work but also around the compound and town.
Dressing respectfully is part of this, which applies, I’m afraid, particularly to women. It may seem a little strange or old fashioned to you, but this is part of coming to a different culture and adjusting to different ways.
Women are expected to keep their knees & mid-riff covered so skirts and dresses should be below knee or wear trousers. Tops & T-shirts should generously cover the tops of skirts & trousers. Sleeves can be short or no sleeves, tops should not be too skimpy. Clothing should not be too tight, showing too much of your body shape. Shorts can be worn in your home and private garden, if you have one, but if out and about in shorts it is a good idea to cover up with a chitenge (what all the women wear, you will be considered very Zambian if wearing one).
At work there is a dress code for all clinical staff (men & women). You should dress tidily for work applying to the above guidelines (not a chitenge), men should wear long trousers, not shorts. Some people find scrubs comfortable and not so hot. You need a white coat, with three quarter length or short sleeves. On the wards covered footwear should be worn, hair should be tied back.
If you are uncertain about what to wear, or any other issues, then please ask for advice from the Hospital Administrator or the Medical Superintendant.
When you are visiting tourist attractions then of course you are free to play the tourist – but it is always good to be aware of these issues to avoid putting yourself in a difficult situation.
It is also important to bring some warm things if you are here from May to August as it can get very cold, particularly in the evenings, remember there is no heating. A warm jumper & fleece are very useful.