I’m back! It’s 2 months since my last visit and it feels like I never left as I quickly settle back into the Bahir Dar way of life. As it’s been a while since my last blog, I feel I should update on some of the changes at Felege Hiwot, as always there are many – a new paediatric unit which has allowed for a larger neonatal unit, and a new cancer centre and training centre underway plus plans for a new postnatal unit allowing extra space for an obstetric high dependency area. Of course there one particular development I can’t fail to mention – the new sign, a grand entrance to the hospital!
This time it’s all about Safe Surgery. With the launch of the regional Safe Surgery initiative, I’m becoming involved in developing anaesthesia services in the area. Felege Hiwot has been selected as lead hospital for a cluster of healthcare facilities for the programme. I’ve just returned from the launch event where we heard all about the plans for the programme and I was able to present. There was notable interest in some of the activities at Felege Hiwot and how these might be utilised in other areas. As we drove across the land, a journey almost 500km by road, I was reminded of the beauty of the country as a whole, green fertile lands dotted with small villages, a beauty and a friendliness that draws me back time and time again.
In the coming months, I’ll be assisting with anaesthesia needs assessments and training at the facilities under the Felege Hiwot cluster and helping to develop guidelines and standards for anaesthesia. Felege Hiwot is also going to be a training and distribution centre for Lifebox’s Ethiopia project. Monitoring pulse oximetry is an essential component of Safe Surgery and as I write this, 140 Lifebox oximeters are on their way to Bahir dar and we will plan training on oximetry and the WHO Safe Surgery Checklist for anaesthetists at Felege Hiwot and nearby hospitals. I’ll also be acting as faculty on the SAFE Anaesthesia course in Addis in March.
I am delighted that this time I am able to spend a more prolonged period of time here, and I hope that I can continue to help to improve services at Felege Hiwot and the broader region.
Dr Jolene Moore is a Consultant Anaesthetist in Aberdeen, who has been heavily involved with establishing the partnership with Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. She is spending the next few months in Ethiopia supporting ongoing activities at Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital and the regional Safe Surgery initiative.
See more photos from Jolene and the team: Follow Soapbox on Instagram here.
Above image: 2017 The Soapbox Collaborative