3 December: …and finally! Nairobi airport, then home!
Yesterday morning we went to the hospital to say our goodbyes and were delighted to discover that the child we had brought in from the Eastern bank had made an excellent recovery and was smiling and laughing happily.
- Angelo, who suffered an iron overdose
We had a meeting with Dr James and Dr Alex, and James said he felt we’d achieved more teaching on this trip than on any other. Due to the time lost in Juba the teaching has been much more formal and concentrated, but also there are more doctors around now who were very keen to attend.
We then went to the Ministry of Health and had a formal meeting with his Excellency the state minister of Health Dr Isaac Cleto. We received many thanks, and were also each able to speak about the achievements of our visit, and the challenges we had met in the hospital with suggestions for areas of improvement.
- Team at the State Ministry of Health with hospital doctors and other ministry officials
We had an uneventful journey to Juba and were taken to a different hotel, as we had not been booked in in time to the Oasis, where we stayed on the way out. It was in a very pleasant location by the Nile but very noisy at night.
We were visited by John Inglis-Jones from the Anglican International Development charity, which is hoping to get involved in the Eastern bank clinic, just outside Wau. John and I were hoping to meet up in Wau so that I could introduce him to some of the people there, but he too had been stuck in Juba all week due to flight problems.
Our lift to the airport failed to arrive on time so we took a taxi from the hotel. The book in and immigration procedure passed more smoothly than ever before and now we have an eight hour wait in Nairobi airport, where I am writing this while the rest of the team have gone for some much needed retail therapy!
It has been another amazing visit; despite the initial frustrating delay we made up for lost time, and achieved our objectives as well as delivering a huge amount of teaching in the limited time available. We’ve met old friends and made new ones, and I believe the input we have had has benefitted the knowledge of many hospital staff and will lead to improvements in patient care. We have been very humbled by the hospitality and generosity we received both at the hospital and from the nuns. We have all enjoyed and gained so much personally from the whole experience.
PS After many hours of travelling, the team arrived home safely on Sunday, 4 December. The flight from Nairobi to Heathrow was delayed by half an hour, but after waiting five days for a flight from Juba to Wau we felt that this was insignificant!