By Dr. Jack, in case anyone thought Kampala was somehow magically better than Gulu. Know these feelings. Know these situations.
No other doctors had arrived yet on the maternal high dependency ward that morning. The nurse calls me over, she looks quite flustered. There is a 24-year-old woman, 16 weeks pregnant, gasping. She still has a pulse but clearly about to go into cardiac arrest. She needs to be ventilated so I ask for the usual bag-mask-valve combo we use to ventilate in the first instance. The nurse is frantically looking through a cardboard box and not winning so I go and help; a tangle of old tubes and oxygen masks, covered in dust, but not the one we need, and it’s not a great surprise. Back at the bedside, things have deteriorated and I ask the woman’s sister to step aside. I ask for a bag of fluids to get things going, but there is no stock. We have a look through the notes, not much is known yet…
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Dear Nick, Thank you for sharing the stark details of a day in the life of your hospital in Gulu. I feel your frustration at the poor conditions and lack of vital medical supplies; hampering your ability to produce happier outcomes. Don’t give up, your skill and presence is till making a difference to the lives of your patients and their families. Perhaps more of these reviews will shock people involved in the supply line to equip you better for the great task you’ve taken on. we continue to pray for you both. love Rose
I enjoy looking through a post that can make people think.
Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!