The team at Wau hospital were shocked on Friday to see an ambulance pull into the hospital with Ben and Claire in transit and were relieved to find out it was just their transport from Aweil airport. Two lads, a baby goat and our kit bags spilled out of the back of the ambulance. The rest of the team had had another busy day teaching in the hospital.
Saturday 21st April the first AIM (Acute illness management)Africa course was held at Wau teaching hospital led by Frankie (duracell) Dormon and Prem. 6 junior doctors and 2 senior doctors attended the course which was based on the British AIM but adapted to the local circumstances in Wau. The whole team participated in a practical scenario which was both informative and amusing under the direction of Prem, building on her successful stage career as the director of Poole Hospital Revue (coming back next year).
In the afternoon Sister Dorothy organised for 2 students to give us a tour of one of the local suburbs and markets in Wau. We all had an interesting insight into local life in Wau and the children loved all our gifts and sweeties. Particularly popular with the children was Ben (Indiana) Parkin, so named for his physical strength, wit and attire.
Frankie had bought some peanut butter from the market but unfortunately we had an intruder who rummaged in the bins, found the chicken bones and the peanut butter. Kate who slept with her ear plugs in was completely oblivious to this although this event only happened 6 feet from her. We thought this might have been a lion however the nun’s told us it was probably only a stray cat!!
Despite it being Sunday, we were up early and in our Sunday best for church. Dr Majok had arranged to meet us and take us to the Episcopal Cathedral in Wau. However, after waiting patiently and getting worried we would miss the service we set off, unable to contact him although it later transpired his car had broken down enroute to us. We arrived at the church to see people milling around and were relieved not to have missed the start which would have been very rude. Bishop Moses greeted us along with Dr Garang. As we entered the church some half an hour later, it transpired that we had actually missed the English service and were now going to the Dinka one (which is twice as long). The service was lively with the congregation joining in with the percussion which was fantastic. We were asked as guests to come up to introduce ourselves and Frankie gave a short talk about our work at Wau Teaching Hospital. However, the loudest clap was for Becca our Midwife!
After the service Dr Majok took us out for a wonderful lunch at the best hotel in town – the Wau River Hotel. After lunch we went to look at the swimming pool (!) but remembering the words of our leader back home “this is not a holiday”, we set off instead for the Leprosy hospital and soon to be medical school in Agok. On the way back we went for a stroll along the river, meeting some of the children from earlier with their balloons. All in all it has been a wonderful day off with lots of great photos to show for it.
Tomorrow we eagerly await news ofIndiana’s search for the lost slit lamp of Wau. WILL HE complete his mission in time to see his VIP patients who have already requested a consultation????