Kitgum Town

Kitgum Town
Kitgum Town

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Storms and Blackouts !

Ward rounds at Bregma Clinic with COs Peter and Richard

I am sitting in the boardroom of St Josephs Hospital, waiting for the very loud thunder lightning and rain to clear so i can walk through the hospital grounds to our guest house accommodation. The bells from the nearby catholic church are ringing out a call to prayer and Mass. Children are singing out excitedly after each thunder clap . I have plugged my computer in to the only source of power available so as to get a recharge. The town of Kitgum has basically been without electricity for the past week. Productivity is massively reduced as businesses and local industries all rely on power to function. At the Bregma clinic the back up generator is broken and Dr vincent has brought a small home generator to work so we can perhaps operate one computer or recharge our phones. The ultrasound machine also seems to manage with a small power input but it is not possible to do X rays and the laboratory cannot adequately function.  This just adds another layer to the challenges people face here in doing their work. This afternoon it took me about 2 hours to get some US dollars changed into Ugandan Shillings--- trying to keep calm ! I have to let go of my Western mentality and the need to reach targets as efficiently as possible. Keep telling myself , "TIA" (this is Africa), settle back and enjoy the slower pace !
I am part way through setting up the practice computer network and have run a couple of teaching sessions for Dr Vincent and Richard, the clinical officer on how to record patient information on the Best Practice Software program.
I have spent some time with DR Vincent fleshing out the future structures of Yotkom and Bregma Clinic and our relationship as we move forward, seeking to facilitate the good work they are already doing by providing funds for equipment and wages and training . Partnering to improve primary health care in Northern Uganda.   Growing relationships, resources and self reliance. This is our focus. We will have another team meeting of the Yotkom project on saturday night and focus on the core values we wish to be our distinctive.
Ben and Dr Charles attend to a child with Malaria

Clinical medicine has continued at Bregma and within St Josephs. We managed a young man with typhoid fever today. he looked quite unwell with a fever of 40 degrees and was shivering, sitting in a chair with his head resting on the doctors desk. He has been admitted to Bregma clinic overnight.
Last night, Ben was called out to a Caesarian section in the early hours  of the morning and was involved in resuscitating a newborn baby.

DR Vincent and Peter incise a large abscess using Ketamine and Valium to sedate the patient at Bregma

We were able to go out with Lois Ford, director of Tender Trust Orphanage and celebrate my birthday last night with a nice meal of roast lamb followed by a birthday cake, sitting on the verandah, listening to the frogs. There is a lot of water about as it rains most days. Puddles and mud on the dirt roads. many pedestrians and bicycle riders get mud splattered on their nice clothes as the motorbikes or cars go by !
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to jade this week, sending her off on the 8 hour  bus trip to Kampala. We miss her!

jade was reassured to know the bus driver was  focussed!!