Written primarily for South African medical students in their fifth and sixth years, interns and doctors in community service, the Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for Southern Africa serves as a pocket reference for quick diagnosis, crisis management, treatment, and referral in the ward. The demands on doctors and nurses in South Africa and other developing countries are completely different to those in the first world, where most obstetrics and gynaecology books are produced. Difficult issues around abortion and around HIV/Aids contribute to the magnitude and complexity of the field. A straightforward, 'patient's-bedside' manual is long overdue. This handbook, written by contributors from at least five of the seven South African medical schools, serves as a mini-textbook as well as a clinical manual, and in many cases will replace the notes given to students by obstetrics and gynaecology departments.