This weekend has been different, with no electricity. It has been great for avoiding doing the ironing, but not so good for technology and warm showers! We had put this power cut down to a storm, but were surprised to find out that it’s because nearby they need power for insect hunting. At night they set up very bright lights next to insect hills to tempt the insects out so they can catch them to eat and sell, so were diverting our power for their lights. Very different!
This week we have seen lots of infectious diseases again, including lots of malaria, pneumonia, TB and HIV. We were excited to also see some cases we are more familiar with, such as heart failure and diabetes.
One highlight on the paediatrics ward this week was treating an asthma case with a home-made spacer (see photo!). The hospital does have a nebuliser (like ours in the UK), but it has a European plug, rather than the British plug they use here. So treatment involved a makeshift spacer and inhaler, made from an empty water bottle and lots of masking tape… And later re-wiring the plug on the nebuliser for the next child.
Maternity ward has also been different: women here labour with absolutely no pain relief- no pethidine, gas and air or epidurals! This was a very different experience to my placement in London. We were also surprised in theatre (for a c-section) that female staff have green scrub dresses to wear, rather than tops and bottoms as the men! Surprisingly comfortable, but not that fashionable.
This week we have also enjoyed getting to know staff on the wards better. It was encouraging to see nurses working on the wards after having children (not as common in Uganda as in the UK). The children all go to crèche or school on the hospital site, and those breastfeeding are bought down onto the wards for their mums to feed when they are hungry!