SECOND YEAR OF THE CAMPAIGN IN THE ULLONGUE HOSPITAL
Team leader: Lucia Catot
General surgeons: Lucia Catot, Ana Pérez, Pablo Muriel
Pediatric surgeons: JM Morán, Rocío Gutierrez
Anesthesists: M Jesús Sánchez, Teresa Berenguer
Nurses: Mercedes Contreras, Almudena Ceballos
Internist: Helena Sarmento
Logistic (translator): Vitor M Lamosa
We began this campaign with great joy to be coming back as during the year we had been in touch with Antonio Velasquez for the control of the last year sick people.
We have collected sick people through them (Alonso Velasquez and Genesis Machado) as also through Father Victor Manuel Lamo, as the doubts via WhatsApp were being solved.
We met in Lisboa, then we went by plain to Maputo-Tete 2 hours, we slept in Tete as we arrived at 18 p.m and we are grateful to Sr Fernando Antonio Carvalho and Armando Soares who invited us to their hotel in Tete and to a delicious supper, and next day Sunday they accompanied us in minibus til Misión de Fonteboa. 2 days are needed from Lisboa to arrive at the Jesuit mission of Fonteboa , which is our home during the whole campaign, and we were very well received as the previous year.
Arrival on Sunday 27-11-19. We went to the mission to leave our personal luggage, and then to the hospital to set in place the material, and we started surgery on midday Sunday. We worked till Saturday midday, as in the afternoon we collected all the material again, and on Sunday we began our coming back.
This was our day:
- At 7 hours we saw the patients who came to Fonteboa in the mission itself.
- We went to the hospital at about 20 minutes by car.
- At the hospital some of us went to begin operations, others to see patients, and others to select patients.
- We visited about 50 patients daily between children and adults, we eat at the hospital where they give us a delicious meal.
- We perform operations till 21 hours.
- All this during the 6 days our campaign lasted.
- Improvements with respect to previous years.
- Formation of the collection.
- We were lucky to have the collaboration of Lady Doctor Helena Sarmiento, and Father Vitor Lamo who knows perfectly the local language.
Patients 159 (37 children), 168 (126+42) procedures
Collaboration of Alonso Velâsquez , Gênesis Machado and father Victor . Our thanks to them for their excellent collaboration in everything: recruiting, informing, being in the pre-operation theater preparing the sick people, as also in the farewell, and informing them about the medication and the daily cures.
They too are those that after we have left keep us informed about the cases via whatsApp
- Dr. Nobre and Real Gilberto were very friendly and gave us no trouble, while on the previous year we had plenty of difficulties. Even Mr. Real washed with us and we could share surgery. He also asked for our help in a cesarean operation.
- Dr. Bala helped us with the permissions needed, but we needed his help also in the recruiting.
- We should improve the surgical area. In the large operation theater the respirator is still not working, in spite of their assuring that it was working.
- If we get that the respirator works well and we get an oxygen receptacle in the place where we operate upon adults I think that would work better.
- Julius is the one who works in sterilization and he helps us in all that refers to material. We will also try to get surgical material and so we would need not to bring our own, so that we could bring other things.
- No doubt we have to bring much luggage, but we should try that in the local flight they do not make us pay for overweight. They told us that a letter to the air company signed by Dr. Bala or by the governor well in time we would not have to pay.
I believe the following to be necessary:
Lady Doctor Helena Sarmiento as the person to select patients.
Father Victor to communicate with the patients. It would be good to have another person also, so that he does not feel overworked. I think Salomon, who last year had already helped, would be a good choice.
Alonso, Génesis and Father Jesus.
Doctor Bala with respect to respirator and oxygen,
Inform about Dr. Nobre and Real Gilberto about everything.
Trying to inform the nurses so that they will not see us as external staff.
A better relation between people there and improving of the hospital.
Trying to get them to lend us surgical material.
Informing Dr Nobre, the infirmary and Dr. Bala.
Improving the recruiting and getting Dr. Bala to take a greater part.
Improving our program.
Trying that patients do not have to wait the whole day.
Ideas we have:
- To help the Campaign it would be useful to have a brief text (translated into Chichewa) to be read in Communities. In this way, to give an example, in one of the parishes they said that oftalmologists would come.
- For a first visit they could have a brief evaluation (identification, main complain, pathological complains, clinical examination summed up – vital signs; weight…). Without taking much time I do think more advice could be given. The evaluation could be had before (two days before two days of the beginning of the Campaign) and the patients with a pathology for surgery would be selected for evaluation by the surgical team. A good number of patients came already this year. Many were attended to in Saturday and Sunday.
- We could prepare an instruction for patients with frequent pain like abdominal pain, pain in the legs, high blood pressure, etc. The point is that a significant percentage is illiterate, so that they cannot read the document we give them. We can still give an announcement in communities where there is always someone who can read. What would happen if we give one or two sessions of capacitation? Lady doctor Helena Sarmiento (or someone more free) could take up this task.
- The time of waiting for surgery in the open air could be improved. For instance for patients who are going to be given local anaesthetic we could wait while they are given water or tea and biscuits… (I know Father Victor was doing that).
- At the beginning of the campaign it could be useful to have a short meeting with with the head nurse so that he can participate and convey to the team the need to welcome the patients. It seemed to me that the nurses saw these patients as “supernumeraries” and had little or no connection with them (I would like to make a caveat here that came up as an exception: one day two nurses, the sister and another, came to the block to ask a question about the medication).
6. There’s a lot of eye cataracts, talk about doing ophthalmology campaigns
7. There is a lot of goitre, to ask if it could be done there, the problem is the material (Ligasure), where to enter the patients, and the subsequent medication, to which they do not have access.
The summary is
- I think we’ve made a good impression for the return next year,
- Good feelings to establish continuity
Signed: Dr. Lucia Catot