My internship obstetrics and gynecology are finished, sadly. The hall to the delivery room was like a red carpet. The hall is not wide, but early in the morning and in the evening; half of the hallway is occupied by patients and family members who are waiting there until their family member has delivered the baby and will be discharged. It is a colorful happening, and looks very cozy. When you arrive in as steady walk many will greet you, but when you come running in your white coat with a baby in your arms, it’s like the red sea opening. The white coat works magic’s!
Per day we have about 80 deliveries, with a record of 100, the days are busy, the nights even busier, since there are at least as many deliveries but less staff. I started that night with at least 10 women that sat on the ground, on there “bed” (read garbage bag). They all sat in the middle, so that we could easily make our rounds along the beds. To reach the women on the floor we had to skip, very carefully, between the mother and baby’s. I had just put on my white coat when I was called by a mother, naturally one in the middle of the group on the floor. She had the feeling that her child was about to be born. I carefully lifted her skirt and indeed, the baby’s head was visible. There were no empty beds available, and even if we had one, she would not have been able to get there. There I was, on my knees, helping with the birth of this child, and making sure that his first meeting in this big world was not the dirty floor of Mulago. A couple of minutes later, she stood beside me, completely dressed, as if nothing had happened. These women keep surprising me, so enormously strong! While I wanted to continue with my evening rounds, I was urgently called by another mother, who naturally lay also on the floor. This was nightshift number 1; within 1 hour two assisted with deliveries on my knees on the floor. Yes this is typical Uganda… Although for the mother is not ideal, and I would wish better for them, I know that for now it will not change and secretly I enjoy every moment, the real Africa. Run, fly, jump and especially be innovative.
In the weekends for me there is never a dull moment, because just like before I go to my house in Uganda and am constantly surrounded by my big and small friends from the orphanage.
During the day I like working at the orphanage and in the evenings it is always a party when a number of children coming for a sleepover. EN … currently the children have a new hobby. Knitting bay caps for the baby’s in Mugano. It is ideal, most of the mothers are poor and often do not have more than a couple of sheets for the baby. A lot of baby’s lay in draughty spaces, since the mothers have to wait in the hall to be discharged. The mothers are enormously happy with the caps, it looks good and our children are entertained with their knitting group. They even make it into a competition, who can make the most caps.
Before I go on with my next internship infectious diseases, I first have something very nice happening, the best of two world’s part 2 – Roos and Marleen are in Uganda; Roos has now also met “my children” and the children were very excited that their Auntie Marleen was back. This time we even went on a real holiday, traveling around with the three of us, catching up, and total enjoyment.
Meanwhile I have been working in the department infectious diseases for a while, but I will tell you more the next time. In closing a picture of the little Julius. He is doing amazingly well, except that for a child of his age he is a small guy, there is no evidence of his undernourishment anymore. He has changed from a sad little guy into a happy naughty, chubby toddler. I cannot think of a more gratifying work than looking after him.