Archive for July, 2010

From Rescue To Self-Sufficiency – Ghana Day 13

Saturday, July 24th, 2010 |

  Last night a lady arrived at Ghana’s Baptist Medical Center in labor with twins. Our ultrasound quickly confirmed their heart rates were low, and a Caesarian was needed at once. A familiar scenario out here – and for the last 60 years it was the American doctor who performed these surgeries. But times are […]

Commitment & Consistency: Doug Parking – Ghana Day 11

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 |

  One of the most disturbing elements of today’s ‘short-term medical missions’ phenomena is how individuals boast over the number of different countries where they have served. In truth, the learning curve is steep for each new healthcare facility. Commitment and consistency are necessary for one to learn the ropes and actually make a significant […]

A ‘Normal’ Doctor’s Schedule – Ghana Day 9

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 |

  Just a typical day at Ghana’s Baptist Medical Center: This morning I arrived find to 27 new patients admitted to the pediatrics ward by the nurses overnight! That’s 27 kids with malaria, sepsis, pneumonia, dehydration, all on top of chronic malnutrition. Next up, I rounded on 55 adults with snake bite, malaria, tuberculosis, bone […]

Culturally-Appropriate Orphan Care – Ghana Day 7

Monday, July 19th, 2010 |

  Pictured here with the children of Nilerigu, Ghana’s first orphanage. Attitudes toward orphans and care provided are quite culturally-dependent. In more traditional African communities to concept of an “orphan” was almost unheard of. All children have relatives, and if their parents died, they are naturally absorbed into the home of their kin. Only in […]

The Tough Questions – Ghana Day 5

Sunday, July 18th, 2010 |

  Walked into the pediatrics ward at Ghana’s Baptist Medical Center this morning, where I almost collapsed from the gravity of suffering and stench of human waste. I’m contemplating the questions that plague us all who engage healthcare among the extreme poor: How to best adopt care for low resource setting? How to function in […]

Snakes In The Grass! – Ghana Day 3

Saturday, July 17th, 2010 |

  Making rounds at Baptist Medical Center in Ghana – up near the northern border with Burkina Faso. Stunningly, a quarter of our hospital patients are here for snake bit! Now is the rainy season, when farmers are scrambling out to their fields to plant corn and millet. And awaiting in the foliage is this […]

Nothing Routine About Tetanus – Ghana Day 1

Thursday, July 15th, 2010 |

  Questions the complacency with which some people approach “routine vaccinations.” Tonight, here in Ghana we are treating this child of four who is suffering from tetanus. His jaw is locked closed and any sudden noise causes his arms and legs to spasm violently. He has no puncture wound – most people with tetanus don’t […]

Test Your Pediatrics Skills – Angola Day 25

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 |

  Here at Lubango Evangelical Medical Center it is the nurse practitioners that first attend to those coming for care. Paulo and Miguel are skilled, thoughtful, and can manage most individuals just fine. For me, they save the more complicated cases. Today, first, these included a four-year old girl who was growing normally until struck with […]

Yes, These Are Bullet Holes – Angola Day 23

Monday, July 12th, 2010 |

  At the height of the Angolan Civil War I was living in the central city of Huambo. The city was patrolled by day by the MPLA military force, and by night by the opposing UNITA force. Confrontations were like clockwork. As the sun was setting, I would hear explosions in the distance, and as […]

Paulo Buaki: A Life Well Lived – Angola Day 21

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 |

  All of us involved in ‘global health’ agree with the imperative of preventive care and relief from poverty. But nevertheless, people will still suffer from emergencies – situations in which urgent care is truly lifesaving. Enter Paulo Buaki. A native Angolan, Dr. Buaki completed his surgical residency with the renowned Pan-African College of Christian Surgeons. […]