First week in Africa
Yesterday we had an orientation day and we got to meet out mentors.
I got to meet the doctor I was working with and got a little run down of the medical care system.
Most tanzanites don’t believe in doctors and will wait very long before they come get help and often times it is too late. They don’t understand that there are cures if you go early.
Only 4% of the population here have HIV.
Some medical insurance is offered but it only covers a little bit most is out of pocket.
(more to come over the next week weeks on that as I learn more)
1st day at medical placement
After 0630 breakfast we heading to the vans
We bounced down bumpy dirt roads for about 25 min and then we pulled up to a metal gate. Once in hospital me and 3 other students walked in and sat on bench and waited for the Doctor. We have been consistently reminded that we are in Tanzania and they have their own time(quite literally which I will try to explain later ). Unlike western hospitals everyone walks slow and there is no rush to get anything done.
Today was the orientation of the hospital we meet the medical director the hospital who is this lovely women dressed in a white habit with a large golden cross hanging around her neck. Once all introductions were made we went on the tour of the hospital. There are 4 floors with a ward on each to get to each ward you walk outside. Everything is very open. There is a Male ward, Female ward and OB ward and a pediatric ward.
After the tour, I spent the rest of the day in the pediatric ward hanging with kids and waiting for a doctor that never shows.
After checking in with the director we headed up to the pediatric ward. The day started with doing paperwork getting all the charts in order. Then we washed the empty beds and windows and awaited the doctor for 9 o clock rounds. We watched burns being dressed and did HIV testing on all the kids, which is a government standard for all admitted children.
When the Nurse stated the HIV testing I ask if I could do it. She looked at me and laughed and said in her broken English “you want to stick children’s fingers?”
Of course, the first child, I test, freaks out and I have stuck him twice. The nurse laughed I just kept going.
Mothers are in charge of monitoring children there are no vitals being taken and no kids where to check on in the 4 hours I was there today. The doctor never showed for rounds which seem to be the norm. There are a lot of differences and a lot of things would not fly in the states. However for the area, I have to say I am impressed with the hygiene and order.
We got to have a peak in the operating theater today which we will be able to spend more time in within the next few weeks.