August 31st, 2013 by Carmella Caldwell
So we finally got internet here at the BMC of Ghana, so unfortunately we won’t be starting on Day one of my exhibition. lol. After 4 planes and a long “BUMPY” car ride from Tamale to Nalerigu I finally arrived on the BMC compound this past Thursday. While we were driving towards the hospital all I could think of was “oh my gosh there are so many goats everywhere”. I probably saw close to 300 goats either, walking on the side of the rode, eating grass, in the middle of the street, sitting in water, etc. I saw more goats than I saw birds!
Since I have been at the compound I have noticed that it is COMPLETELY different treating people here than being a part of a residency program. Currently there are four physicians (including me…imagine that lol) that make final decisions about pt care. The mindset, regarding healthcare, of the Ghanaian people are extremely different than the American culture. They do not complain of pain unless it is extreme. They are appreciative of efforts made by the physicians even if it’s just writing a prescription for tylenol. On the maternity ward, it’s difficult being able to tell who is actually in labor. You don’t hear the normal screams, yelling, moaning or demands for epidurals. We don’t have strips to look at to see if pt’s are contracting or not. You can only tell by feeling the abdomen. On the pediatric ward there are so many kids to see. They are so sick and malnourished it is disheartening. There are no laryngoscopes for intubation during resuscitation events (only amboo bags), no daily lab availability, minimal equippment, etc.
On clinic day yesterday I’m sure we saw at least 400 people and then had to turn some away. There are so many people here that need care and not enough physicians available to carry out the demand. Ok that was a snippet of the past couple of days. Until next time!