Sunday, 1 February 2015

Uganda blog 1 February 2015 entry

Fiona writes: On Day 8 Alice and I were rotated to spend time on the maternity ward. We got permission to observe surgery today and to wear theatre scrubs and we were able to assist in the preparation of the anaesthetist from the U.S. The anaesthetist appeared quite frustrated by the lack of help and support available as there were only three  people in the room compared with up to 20 staff in the U.S for the kind of operation that was being performed. The staff appeared to lack knowledge about setting up for theatre; on a few occasions the anaesthetist became annoyed due to the lack of effective infection control measures.
Here we are in scrubs

Doors where left open during the surgery and other staff interrupted the surgeon multiple times with what seemed like irrelevant information. Mobile phones were answered and on charge in the room, jewellery was worn and what appeared to be scalpels appeared not to be sharp enough. No pre-op assessments are carried out if the family cannot afford them. A post operative room with equipment was available but not in use due to lack of staff to facilitate it so patients are left in the hallway until awake and someone  takes them to the ward.

We then proceeded to the maternity ward where we were showed around. There was yet again an overwhelming amount of people yet there was a lack of male presence with only one husband observed. Mandatory medication for pregnant women is provided free which includes folic acid, iron tablets, malaria tablets and what surprised us was they were also given worming tablets due to some women eating soil when ill. We were told abortions were illegal and were informed that there was a risk that someone could steal another woman's baby to sell it so mothers are told to keep an eye on their baby at all times. The labour ward consisted of three beds and women were only allowed in once they were 4 cm dilated. We were able to watch and assist with the birth of her child which was the most amazing experience we have had in Uganda so far.
And here we are again -
not in scrubs

Tomorrow we spend time on the paediatric ward. 

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