Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back at Kaluquembe

We spent a little over a week with our friends and colleagues at Kaluquembe earlier this month. This time, we walked away with a little more perspective on the work and challenges at the hospital. The clinical work kept us busy (hysterectomies, C-sections, fistula repairs, and a very sick antenatal population for Priscila; learning herniorrhaphies, head traumas, and treating a variety of medical conditions on men’s, women’s, TB and children’s wards for Daniel). And the beautiful evening walks rejuvenated us. But wow; the challenges for a place with such high infant mortality are daunting; so is the management of MDR-TB in a country that does not acknowledge it has such a problem (thus, there are no easy ways to test for it nor are medications made available for treatment . . . a scary situation that spells international crisis). In a country that has immense resources but where over 80% of the population still lives on less than US$2 a day, the barriers to good patient care are more than we yet know. Please keep praying for us (and for patients and health workers); we are trying to provide just and merciful care to our patients, but it feels that there aren’t many here who share that same desire. 
Femur fracture room on the men's ward. Note simple traction devices that patients remain in for weeks to months

Molar pregnancy as seen on our favorite piece of CEML equipment: the Sonosite Micromaxx. Treatment options are usually D and E or hysterectomy. Even getting methotrexate is a big hurdle here.

Priscila with nursing student and Dona Julia, the Chief midwife at Kaluquembe

Zeke, stewing something smelly

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