My friend Ann is an Irish theater nurse who lives in Munich (she’s also known as Mrs. Rainy Day). In February she and a team of German doctors and nurses flew to Dar es Salaam for a two-week open-heart surgery marathon. Their ultimate goal was to train local medical staff in their techniques.
‘We look neither East or West
We look forward”
There is no place like Africa!
Read that on a poster on the dusty way to the internet cafe. We are a
week here now and so much has happened that my fingers are trembling
at the though of having to write down all my impressions. We have had
successful operations but under very difficult conditions where the
electricity blacked out, the ventilator broke down and the steriliser
broke beyond repair. We ended up using a car battery for the
ventilator, but it worked! Phew! Our own hearts stopped many times
along with the patients, but luckily we have all survived. The most
rewarding part is to see our patients sitting up in bed with big
smiles on their faces, they are all so grateful. Naturally our results
are so good because we have a great team who are all excellent,
experienced and very flexible.
Dr.Gregory Eising is brilliant and they all call him Dr.Gregory here.
He is gone to the health minister today to sign a tripartide agreement
between the Tanzanian Heart Institute, the Tanzanian goverment and the
German Heart Institute Munich, hope all goes well.
Someone said there was an article in the Sunday Observer or Guardian
about our trip, try and check it out. We were also overpowered by the
press and T.V.at the airport when we arrived and Dar es Salaam T.V.
came to the O.R. one day to film us in action. Dr. Gregory is filming
us constantly with his million dollar camera and hopes to sell his
documentary to BR when he gets home. I am not in many of the films as
I was so busy co-ordinating everything , especially the things that
have broke down. It ain’t easy sometimes as when I say I need
something repaired the normal answer is ‘Does it need to be done
today? My answer is ‘It needs to be done this second otherwise the
patient may die!
Otherwise hot,hot,hot, dusty, mosquitos, super-friendly,and adventurous!
All the best