Mulago hospital is the only academic center in Uganda and that combined with an unbelievably high fertility in Uganda, makes the obstetrics department a madhouse. They proudly clam to have the more births per day than in the rest of the world, average 80 per days. It would be nice if they were all normal births. Unfortunately, all complicated births happen here. Past week it was more the norm then exception that a child was born with a shortage of oxygen and so I had to do more CPR than births. At certain times there is no shortage of midwives, people that know CPR sadly not.
Luckily everybody is willing to work hard of takeover a few your duties so that I was free to do CPR. The whole department works well as a team. One will take care of the mother, the other the baby. Running together to the special care unit; and then strait back for the next birth. Luckily they all except when you indicate that you want/can to do things alone under supervision and everybody is willing to teach even in this hectic situation. Yes, working here is certainly hard, but every baby that survives is a confirmation that I really want to be here.
Like last week Friday. We had a “bad-house” like they call it, lots of patients that had been admitted in critical a state and really should give births or should undergo a cesarean. So while everybody was running, flying, jumping, I was sent to a woman who was about to give births. They said that I could certainly to this birth. With now 30 births and counting, it seemed to me as a good closure of the weekend. Moreover a midwife stood beside the bed cleaning the woman, so if necessary the troops would be there in 1 second. Baby 1 came into the world, a girl immediately a loud cry. One of those sparse moments that I can enjoy the cry of baby’s, but the stomach was still very big. Yes the mother said I am having twins, nobody had told me. Quickly I broke the water, and there was the boy, also healthy. After all this I could not pack things fast enough, I could not have wished a nicer start of the weekend.
In the mean time I have switched and gone to the next departments, infectious diseases it is! A mega challenge, the department here is also full. The test results take for ages. A lot of tests are too expensive for most of the patients. But even with these restraints they manage to help a lot of patients back on their feet. End of my first day. I just had to drop by the delivery room. They can always us help there and bringing a small wonder into the world is always remain enjoyable. There they had a little surprise. A mother had left her baby. She had, together with her husband, gone for a HIV test. He was negative, she positive. The husband wondered where she had gotten infected and left her behind. She did not have any other option for her child and also took off. And this is what we see working delivery.
Incredible, nine month pregnancy, undergoing a delivery, of which I now dare to say that that is not fun here and then to leaving the baby behind out of despair, hopefully we will find her soon! Until then, he receives more attention than the average baby in Uganda, because everybody has fallen in love with him and they come to see if he is awake yet because he “has” to be cuddled.