Our planning paid off. We eagerly pulled up to our first medical outreach location at Kabudula Hospital. Upon our arrival, we were gratefully greeted by the staff at KH and quickly saw the vast array of patients waiting, hoping to schedule for surgical procedures this week. Foremost, this will be there only opportunity for surgery or to be evaluated and treated by a surgeon. In Malawi there are only approx. 40 surgeons for 16 million people. After evaluating over 30 patients with surgical concerns, Drs. Newell and Henson quickly got to work in the operating room. Despite a late start, they were able to complete 6 successful surgical cases. The appreciation was evident as many of these patients have been waiting several years for treatment.
Dr. Mullarkey spent the day at Kamuzu Central Hospital working with a small group of dental students from UNC – Chapel Hill. At the hospital they performed fillings, extractions and assisted on larger trauma cases. One patient came to the dental clinic after getting into an altercation in which his friend bit half of his upper lip off. Needless to say they are no longer friends. There is no dental school in Malawi and there is great need for dentists and dental treatment throughout the country. In the absence of a dental school in Malawi there is a three year training program for “dental therapists.” These dental therapist make up the majority of dental providers throughout Malawi. At Kamuzu Central Hospital there are only 2 full time dentists and the remainder of providers are dental therapists, volunteer dentists and students. The need for dentists throughout Malawi is evident and Dr. Mullarkey is excited about growing the dental outreach project with Access Health Africa.