Student Soapboxer Anna Rose reports from Ethiopia:
Just over a month into my second visit to Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital, Bahir Dar, and I’m already adapted to daily life at the hospital, the 12 hours of sunshine, 32+ oC temperatures, endless coffee and even eating injera at least four times a week! My first visit was eighteen months ago and there have been some big changes (see the photo of the new hospital gate and road) and some not so big – such as curtains on the labour ward.
This time around, I am still working in obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) but this time doing a retrospective audit and case-note review of post-caesarean section (CS) complications with a particular focus on surgical site infections. In a relatively short time, I have made surprisingly good progress: identifying all CS deliveries in a two-month period, requesting and collecting the medical records (well, 170 of 326). In a country where soup can take half an hour to arrive, that’s remarkably fast!
So far, my time has been split between collecting and analysing data and spending time on the ward, in clinics and in theatre, both in O&G but also general and plastic surgery. I was fortunate to be at Felege when an Aberdeen plastic surgeon was also visiting so was able to observe some fascinating cases.
Aside from work, it’s been great to live in Bahir Dar and see friends again, especially as everyone is so sociable. Last weekend, all staff at the hospital were invited to a ‘ceremony’ for dinner, an impressive amount of meat and injera! This weekend, I am attending the wedding of one of the security guards at my guesthouse. It’s all part of the experience! I’m looking forward to spending the next three weeks here and continuing to benefit from the great partnership between Soapbox and Felege.
The hospital gate has come a long way since April 2016