Friday 1st February 2013

Today has been one of highs and lows. At 9.00am we went to see the recently refurbished Comboni hospital run by Sister Maria, who is away at present, so we were shown round by Sister Rosemary. The efficiency, professionalism, cleanliness and treatment of patients is superb, just what a hospital here should be. It was discouraging to return to WTH as realised just how much needs doing to bring it anywhere near to that standard. Everyone has been teaching today, either groups of nurses on the wards or formal teaching. Peter and Judy have had a few more doctors today for their talks, but Abi was discouraged as the 9 nurses who turned up for her teaching in Paediatrics on infection control grumbled because the talk lasted more than 10mins!!

This week we’ve seen 2 children die who would have survived in the UK, but Sara has successfully resuscitated 2 newborn babies

This afternoon I went off to interview bishop Moses. The Episcopal Church is at the back of the hospital. The interview was one of several I’m doing to be broadcast on BBC Radio Solent. 

Going back to the hospital, I found the team involved in an obstetric emergency; Peter and Judy were due back at CHTI at 4.30pm, so Sara, Abi and I helped in maternity with a patient who appeared to be in labour at about 32 weeks.  Neither Sara or I could find a foetal heartbeat,  but only when we were satisfied that the patient was being seen by a doctor did we feel we could leave. Abi is pleased to have seen a normal delivery today, and I think is getting a taste for midwifery with Sara’s excellent tuition!! Maternity is a very challenging area here, and despite some improvements, the general conditions, lack of resources and motivations is very depressing indeed.

Our driver speaks no English, and despite instructions and much arm waving from Peter and Judy when he delivered them back to CHTI, failed to return to collect us. We were delighted however to have the opportunity to hire a local taxi (tuk tuk) to bring us back.

 This is a great team, and we have all developed our roles within it. Peter is chief bartender, making sure we have a glass of Tusker lager outside after work; he is also rubbish disposal officer – we burn our rubbish in old oil bins! Sara is an excellent and always cheerful IT consultant. Judy is the inventor, always thinking of a new idea,  Abi is in charge of breakfast and security, and they tell me I’m the queen bee –  keeping everyone in order and to time and sorting the logistics. I haven’t done too well with our 5 bags of kit though, as despite several  phone calls to Juba  it still hasn’t arrived. I’m told its now on a truck and coming via the road to Rumbeck. All out teaching materilas , kit, presents etc are in the bags so we are hoping they will be here soon…….maybe!

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Hilary

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