A 28-member team of health care professionals from Duke University Medical Center is carrying nine tons of surplus medical equipment and donated supplies to the 1500-bed New Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Mulago Hospital staff will be trained to use and maintain the new equipment then surgeons from both countries will join in conducting a number of brain and spinal surgeries.

The project is administered by Duke’s Global Health Institute.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"We are no longer Third World, We are First World"

Comment from a general surgeon who is also the Deputy Director of the Hospital after touring the OR and recovery room.

Michael Haglund writes:

Day Two of the neurosurgery mission finished today at the somewhat humane hour of 7:30pm. However, that did not relate the fact that Day One finished after midnite for a large portion of this outstanding team. As a surgeon, you finish your last case around 7pm, round on your patients you operated on during the day, check out the last one in the recovery room and head for home by 8pm; however, you sometimes forget the recovery room nurses that are watching your patient for several hours after the surgery (and by that time you are enjoying dinner at home) and finally the nurses in the ICU who are accepting those patients from the recovery room. So, although Drs Zomorodi, Parker, and myself all finished our last cases around 7pm, the rest of our team stayed until midnite to make sure everyone was tucked in and safe for the nite. MVP awards to our team who was "Left Behind" last evening including Dr.s MacLeaod, Zomorodi, and Schroeder, as well as the nurses: Meg Zomorodi, Sara Goins, Jen Bland, Liz Beautz, Karen March, Jody Wellwood, Maggie Cote,and Senthil R. who have transformed the recovery room and ICU into a first rate area and were willing to be left behind to make sure everyone of the patients we operated on was safely tucked in.

Save of the day was Dr. Zomorodi's patient whom we rounded on last evening and debated whether he was well enough to even go through the surgery. We have had several patients where there disease and their deteriorating condition, prohibited their having surgery. After long discussions, we decided if we ever were to go for it, and risk one of our patients dying in this first of its kind neurosurgical mission to Mulago, this was the one. Emotions were high as the surgery was quite difficult, but in the end emotions were high from a much more positive standpoint, when the little boy who was near death the evening before with a paralyzed left side, awoke from surgery turned toward his ecstatic mother and picked up his left arm in the recovery room. God is sure good and the present to this wonderful family will never be forgotten. In Royal Family Kids Camp where I have been a camp doctor for the last 7 years ministering to foster kids, they talk about the story of "the one", the one that touched your heart, the one you will not forget, well, today at Mulago many doctors and nurses have their "ONE" for this trip. As Ali Zomorodi said afterwards, if this is all I accomplished on this trip it would be enough!