We nicknamed ourselves the Super 7, the seventh team to visit Wau. I hope that our report will do justice to the name.
We have to be proud to look back at our achievements despite the initial difficulty with changes in senior management roles in the hospital. I had warned the team at the beginning, that planning a trip to Wau was rather like a birthing plan, and so it was. We had to make some major adjustments to our ideas as soon as we arrived. Some of our better changes being totally unplanned!!
We managed to introduce oxygen, despite the several hurdles, and I hear it is still working.
The medical wards were a challenge but Prem persevered with daily ward round teaching and did succeed in completing some excellent more formal teaching for the doctors. We ran an AIM course of sorts on a Saturday and were thrilled that ten doctors gave up their Saturday off to attend. More importantly we met with the University and there are several opportunities for future collaboration in the embryo stage.
Becca had a brilliant idea with blackboards on the labour ward, the start of recording progress of labour. Each bed has a small blackboard above it, with the details of the most recent examination. It enables the doctors to review the patients with a simple glance around the ward, where they can see what time the mothers were examined and how many centimetres they had dilated. In addition a potted obstetric history is written up, useful to know when you have a grand multip. on her 10th baby!!
Ben has developed some fantastic links with both Juba and Wau. We now know what support they need to develop the ophthalmology service and fund raising is starting now for a newer operating microscope and better autoclave facilities.
Kate has managed to achieve the first HDU area, with oxygen and an emergency trolley. She had confirmation that they could set up the oxygen concentrator without her assistance when they identified a suitable patient, gave the child oxygen and watched him improve. She has also painted the blackboards (she was the person who thought of taking blackboard paint in the first place!!) and they are being used to record antibiotic administration. They weren’t using any form of drug chart before.
Claire has taken ultrasound to new heights and they are clearly using their machines when we are not there. With a fixed machine in outpatients and the portable machine in Obstetrics, we are hopeful that the doctors who know how to use them will continue to learn and hone their skills.
This was the first team not to have Hilary at the helm. I was quite apprehensive about the lead role despite the fact that I had been twice before. I certainly met with some challenges along the way. The airport closed due to a plane crash, the boys who we had worked so closely with us in UK losing their senior roles, the Juba Logistics team sometimes finding it difficult to remember where we were and not turning up to collect us, or relying on last minute hotel bookings. Splitting the team for part of the visit also added to the headaches!! However, during our 2 week stay we achieved 70 hours of lecture style teaching as well as hours of ward based teaching.
I am convinced that our trip was worthwhile and I am really proud of my team and their achievements. We certainly deserve the title Super 7.
Dr Frankie Dormon
Team Leader and Medical Lead for Poole Africa Link