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AusHeal Blog

First day back in Goma, 2013

The day started early as the 3 nurses in the AusHEAL team attended the weekly HEAL Africa nurses meeting, while our team doctors went to the weekend handover of patients by HEAL Africa doctors. Neil drove the team from the home to the hospital in his first drive in Congo in the 4 wheel drive left hand manual landcruiser… his first time to brave the Goma traffic. All went well

After such warm welcomes from the hospital staff, a tour of the hospital and projects building followed for the new members of team and then each went to their respective areas to work. These areas are [1] Intensive Care, [2] the Emergency Department [3] the Operating Theatre and [4] Recovery ward.

Imagine an Emergency Department with no Oxygen and no suction. That is what the team found. Logistics to be addressed. The local staff are however keen to learn. Dr David Symmons and Kirsty Freeman (RN) have spent the day just assessing what needs to be done. Similarly an Intensive Care Unit with very few if any functioning monitors and a ventilator that no-one know how to use. Damon Bruce (RN) will also have plenty of work to do teaching about how an ICU should run.

Dr Anthony Fisher (anaesthetist) found that 2 key anaesthetic nurses present in previous team visits have since left the hospital. He has almost had to start over again teaching lessons he has taught in previous years. Anthony spent the day observing current HEAL anaesthetic practices and soon realised topics to be addressed. Meanwhile Murray Thorn and Sue Reid slipped back into the Radiology Department with plenty of work. Neil Wetzig performed some endoscopies and assessed patients for surgery later in the week. Gwen spent the day organising the remainder of the team visit.

The day concluded with a teaching session for the doctors on “Shock” and then we returned to our accommodation at Maji Matulivu for a shower, debrief and dinner