Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Masaka

After the smog, traffic, and bustle of Kampala, on Saturday we hired a taxi and took to the road, crossing the equator (a first for me, took the obligatory photo and had a nice Ugandan coffee, not even so hot) and then spent the night at Lake Nabugabo. THis is one of the only lakes around here not containing bilharzia, and although there were lots of school boys swimming, we didn't partake. It was a nice relaxing place, a couple of low key local resorts, ours was 'Sand Beach." There were a few patches of sand, but they weren't on the lakeshore. SOme monkeys around, and birds and things. THen on to Masaka the following day. Although the fourth largest city in Uganda, it is actually a very small town, situated among lush and beautiful rolling hills. We got ourselves some very nice digs at the Zebra Hotel. Third floor balcony with sunset views over valley and hills. A good price with a big breakfast ( African tea, cereal, tropical fruits, eggs, wonder bread toast) and clean, safe and friendly.

One of the nicest parts is the gorgeous 15 minute walk to the hospital along tree lined lanes. The hospital here is also a referral hospital, and does about 8 births each day. It is much better stocked than Kampala, at least right now, and the midwives have more time to attend the mothers. About of the third of the women are taken to the 'theatre' for 'Caesar's' and a major problem is the sepis they often end up with, so there are many very very sick women who come back following operative births. The midwives are welcoming and seem to enjoy having us around. They are called Sister Prussy, Sister Teddy, Sister Judith, Sister Juliet, Sister Benadine, Sister Sarah. THere are also some 'Comprehensive Nursing' students who are fun and are a great help with interpreting. SO far we have had two babies with club feet, and two with extra digits, so I don't know if these things are more common here or it is just by chance. We had one lady today with a small pelvis and no progress in second stage, and the baby wasn't sounding great. She went to the theatre and her baby indeed didn't fare well, I don't think she will make it. Also two premature babes this week. There is a little 'premature' room, which is kept warmer (when there is electricity, which most of the time there isn't) and that is about all it means, no oxygen or incubators, just lots of blankets and hot water bottles. Chloe delivered a premie two days ago who was on the cement counter covered with a ton of blankets and today I went in there and heard him screaming and saw his little feet poking out over the edge, I lifted the blankets and he was about to roll himself off onto the floor!

The staff here have kindly gathered some aprons for us, which they used a marker to write our names across the front, and gum boots, also with our names, to wear in the operating theatre. Our LUganda language so far consists of push, push hard, don't push, lie on your side, where is your health card, and such things, sadly we haven't mastered the other basics like please and even hello! But we are learning. Many of the women here also speak some English. We have been working until evening usually, but today the deliveries came fast and furious earlier in the day, so we had more time to get into town and get things done today. THe food around here is simple but mostly tasty, lots of Tilapia fish, rice, beans, meat stew. We have been keeping up with the World CUp, along with everyone else in the country. Well, the power situation here is dodgy, so I best be sending this before it is lost. HOpe you're enjoying the updates!

love ais


Aisia Salo
3rd Year Midwifery Student-UBC
aisiasalo@hotmail.com
250-595-1027
mobile 250-686-7987

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