by Katie Sacca
Today was another very busy day at Kabudula Hospital! We have been so fortunate to work with the medical staff at Kabudula, including head Clinical Officer Aubry, with the partnership and support of World Altering Medicine (WAM) and Watsi. We had another great day helping to relieve patients of their pain and discomfort through surgery and other medical interventions.
The morning started out very eventfully, with all hands on deck to assist with an emergency c-section for a patient in distress. The medical staff at Kabudula are extremely adept at managing obstetric conditions, and are tireless in serving their communities to the best of their ability. The rest of the day continued at a rapid fire pace, with Dr. Jenn Mullarkey performing close to 40 dental extractions and handling a few larger dental cases as well. The surgical team performed 15 surgeries, focusing on lesion and mass excisions. The patient registration and procedures went extremely smoothly, and patients and their families left with relieved, smiling faces.
Here are some reflections from our staff, volunteers, and partners on the day:
“today went really well, we were really efficient and it went smoothly!” – Hannah, a travel nurse based in L.A. who has been a tremendous asset to the partnership
“there was an interesting variety of (things) today, starting with the c-section. Getting to see how medical officers did their jobs compared to American doctors was interesting” – Lily, assisting in the OR as a volunteer scribe
“we’re evolving in a sense that we’re exploring how we can optimize our success within the confines of our work environment” -Dr. Newell
“Everything went really efficiently with dental, I was surprised to see a second child with Ludwig’s angina (when the swelling from a tooth infection affects the patient’s ability to swallow and breathe) in two days. We admitted both patients and are managing the swelling” – Dr. Jenn Mullarkey
“I really liked meeting the dental therapists today, I thought they were really efficient and I liked how they interacted with the patients. It was fun to learn more about the culture in Malawi from them too!” –Kristen, assisting Dr. Mullarkey with dental extractions
“Seeing medical officers working in their environment was really interesting!” – Peter, assisting in community outreach and the OR
“I was really impressed with how well everyone worked together, including the staff at Kabudula and everyone who came, given everyone has different levels of expertise and training… I was very impressed by how everyone came together.” – Sadie, WAM manager and liaison with Kabudula Hospital
As for me, this was my first full day spent in a hospital in Malawi and it was extremely eye-opening to see how different hospital care is in Malawi than the United States. There was a lot that was hard to see and process because it’s so different from how things work at home. I was inspired to see the motivation of Kabudula’s staff and our staff to provide the best possible patient care, and how we were able to harmonize and work together and learn from each other.
Zikomo for reading, and stay tune for more tomorrow: our Dental team will be heading to Dzaleka Refugee Camp and our Surgical team is heading to a jam-packed day 3 at Kabudula Hospital.
Katie & the AHA Team