Friday, February 22, 2013

Delayed Post

It’s been too long! We can use the excuse of being blocked from blogging, but only for the last two weeks of January did that one work. Then Esther and Rob (sister and brother-in-law to Daniel) came a-visiting . . . excuses, excuses; I’ll just get on with letting you know a little of what’s happened in the last 2 months. Let’s see, December was a month spent working at CEML and staying in Lubango. We also had some challenges in getting our visas in time for leaving to Zambia the beginning of January, but thankfully our exit and entry back into Angola went without hassle (and our luggage did not disappear this time, either!). With your financial support, we were able to visit 2 mission hospital sites in rural Zambia. The first place we visited was Chitokoloki. After flying in to Lusaka,  David and Ruth Gordon (hospital administrator) drove us the 10 hours it took to Chitokoloki, up in Northwest Province. The road varied from tarmac to bush path to crossing a river on a pontoon, and all went smoothly. Below are some pictures of our time at Chitokoloki, which was from the 5th to the 16th. The place looked like a garden, and the Zambezi a deceptively tranquil river (there are lots of crocodiles, we’re told; even while there, a dog and cow were snatched by the crocs . . . if a cow can ever be snatched). Rainy season is a very beautiful time of year in so many places in southern Africa!

The mighty Zambezi, 4th longest in the continent, great crocodile waters. And I’m told is rife bottom-feeding fishing to be had. And croc hunting, so long as your boat doesn’t have a hole in the bottom of it. This is an activity Priscila would disapprove of.

Dr. David McAdams and patient.  Dr. McAdams has been at Chitokoloki for over a decade, after working in DR of Congo for another decade. Full of experience and stories, we wished we had more time to be with him. He left 4 days into our stay for his father’s funeral in N. Ireland. 

Priscila, performing another flawless vaginal hysterectomy, assisted by very capable hands. The OR staff at Chitokoloki were kind, caring and very impressive. It was a delight to work and serve with them. They even doubled as translators for our outpatient consults.
Rounding on Children’s ward. About 50 patients with a mix of respiratory illness, malaria and malnutrition, with the occasional extrapulmonary TB child in there, too. Here, Julie Rachel is with us. She is a nurse/jack of all trades, doing anesthesia, some surgery, midwifery and, while Dr McAdams and another RN are away, covering all the wards.
TOA team! A young lady presented with acute abdominal pain, an ugly ultrasound, and in the OR, we confirmed a tubo-ovarian abscess. Since medical care is free at Chit, she went from presentation to lab to OR all within 2 hours. At our hospital in Lubango,(where it is fee for service) this type of operation would have been delayed longer.
Solar Panels that power the hospital. Solar power allows the compound and hospital to only need diesel-generated power 2-3 hours a day