Walked down to the meeting point with another med student from Germany, Hannah to meet Dr Stockley for the ride to the clinic. It’s not far but it took over 45 min to get to the clinic. That’s what I call crazy traffic. Everyone is just trying to squeezing into the que to get into the city. Definite road rage. Dr. Stockley is very blunt and has a definite sarcastic humor with British accent. I can see that he can easily offend someone if they are more sensitive. But he’s very good at tropical medicine, definitely can learn a lot from him.
Once we got to the clinic, Hannah showed me around and how the process goes at the clinic. We get our own room to see the patients then get Dr. S for the final diagnosis and treatment, very much like home. The clinic has a little of everything, tiny ER with 2 beds, 2 bed inpatient/observation, lab for basic lab test, xray, ultrasound and a small pharmacy as well. I think it’s incredible with what is being done with everything that is available. Patients also wait for their lab results as well so that can be from an hour to several hours depending how busy it gets. Also everything is paid for before labs, scans or vaccines can be done. Even with insurance, a guarantee is needed as well.
The patients here are mostly expats who have been living in Uganda for years. If they are Ugandans, they are the ones who can afford the services. Even then, I felt that patients here have more common sense in when to come see a dr. Back home I feel like people see dr whenever they are beginning to get sick not when they are sick. I don’t know, I think it’s just a different mentality here.
I was assigned to the ER for the day. It started off with a 6 yr old needing Ketamine to get the jigger eggs out of the bottom of her foot. She reacted badly to the ketamine, not sure if it is a true allergy as she did swell up a little and arched her back to breathe. Then after the procedure, she became a puker, a lovely side effect from the Ketamine. Well, I guess she will always remember that she doesn’t do well on Ketamine.
Later on, rode in an ambulance to pick up a collapsed patient then came back. After the exam, we realized he has the symptoms of stroke so we immediately transported him to Kampala hospital for CT head. Even though it’s considered a true emergency, it still took over 2 hours to complete. The CT showed hemorrhagic stroke and my first one and Dr S’s 1st one in 18years. After that the battle of insurance and payment ensued. Insurance wants to medivac him to Nairobi but payments needed to be made before discharge. Finally arrangement is made for the next day.
Because there’s so much inconsistency in reading images, Dr S always asks his own radiologist to read the images to double check the results. That was a crazy1st day.
Finally went home and took the bodas to taxi park to take a taxi. 1st time boda ride and it was crazy. They squeezed between cars anyway they could and even onto the oncoming traffic. The taxi park has an order to their madness as well. Taxis are desperately trying to get out and other are trying to get in. Then the traffic police are directing the traffic flow to let some in and some out. It’s the most chaotic scene I have ever seen but somehow it all works.