A team of 18 healthcare professionals and support staff travelled to Ethiopia on Saturday 14th May 2016.
After having luchlunch we travelled to Worabie hospital, which is 176 km (110 miles) south to Addis Ababa. We arrived around 6pm local time. Although the near bye areas were flooded, we found over 20 patients assessed before and ready to have surgery for genital prolapse.
The team spent a few hours going through and organising the medical equipment and medicine we’d brought over in 36 bags. This has become a routine job for the senior theatre nurses of the team under the direction of Maxine.
We were very happy to have a young local gynaecology specialist and a trainee waiting for us. They shared in most operations. They did some major surgery assisted by the team. They shared in the ward rounds and in patients’ assessment.
We were very happy to be joined by five junior Ethiopian gynaecology specialists and three Ethiopian resident doctors. Six Ethiopian medical students also joined us. The students found the daily ward rounds and the clinics to be very informative.
The team travelled to Addis Ababa on Friday the 20th to meet some of St Paul staff . We went to Zewditu Hospital in Addis Ababa. We met 5 trainees in Zewditu Hospital. They were eager to learn. They all assisted in operating and 3 of them performed major surgery for genital prolapse and fibroid uterus supervised and assisted by our team.
The support staff throughout the mission, made a very big effort in improving the patients hygiene and in educating the local staff about the importance of cleaning. It was very pleasing to see that none of the patients who we operated on suffered any infection.
The team visited the famous Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital and spent sometime with other NGOs looking at other health needs in Ethiopia. Discussions are ongoing on a number of other health issues including setting a new radiotherapy unit, screening for diabetes and high blood pressure and possible future orthopaedic missions. Next mission may have some healthcare professionals who are experienced in screening and treating diabetes in remote areas.
The team included a senior orthopaedic consultant who did a lot of exploratory work towards providing an orthopaedic service to a much-needed place. There many people with old polio, old poorly treated fractures and osteomyelitis. Diseases that are almost unknown in the western world.