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|