Helen and Alastair - some background

Helen and Alastair - some background : We have always hoped to return to Africa once more before we're too old (perhaps we already are!). Alastair first went to Africa in 1974 as a junior doctor, working for the Church of Scotland in a small hospital in Transkei, South Africa. I met Alastair there in 1982, were married in 1984 and continued in Transkei until 1988. From there we went to Kenya, as employees of the Church of Scotland, where Alastair ran Chogoria Hospital. We left in 1995, with Alec, Peter and Becky to establish the children's schooling and our work in Britain. Here Alastair found himself as consultant in Breast cancer surgery, and Helen initially trained and worked as a GP before "evolving" to full time ordained ministry. Alec is now married to Ruth, and they have baby Zach; Pete is in his final year of medicine in Edinburgh, and Becky half way through nurse training in Oxford.

The Diocese of Western Tanganyika is a partner of Gloucester diocese. The plan is for Helen to join the teaching staff of the Bible College, teaching those preparing for ministry. Alastair will teach English to the students at the college, as well as doing some surgery at the church-run hospitals, and helping with project management in the Diocese.
We will keep you updated on our plans over the next few months and will greatly value your prayer support. Our current prayer requests - and thanks to God of course - will be posted on the side bar.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Blog from Alastair!

Shunga hospital theatre entrance
Treatment room - very basic
Wednesday 6th June : Shunga hospital is 24 miles from Kasulu. The road is described as ‘excellent’ by Christine, the German nurse-administrator of the hospital. It takes 75 minutes of juddering and bouncing to get there.
Dr Ndege is on holiday and I have promised to visit at least weekly to see surgical problems. Christine has arranged two operations for me, but asks me to look at a little girl who has been injured. A small mine has exploded – perhaps an unwise momento from a conflict in Burundi – and several children have been injured. One did not survive, and the girl I am shown is desperately ill, and needs a major operation to explore a wound of her abdomen.
The theatre is well-organised and clean. There is a sister to help me.  A simple injection anaesthetic (ketamine for the medically qualified blogger) allows me to open and repair a serious bowel injury. The child’s life hangs in the balance, but she now has a chance. I will see her again in a few days, but meanwhile Christine and her team will care for her expertly.
The other operations completed, and a handful of outpatients seen, we have ‘lunch’ at 4 pm, and set off along the dusty road home.

"Team Africa" :  a photo of us together taken this morning. The dust is so terrible on the road to college we've found this lovely footpath instead . We're both well as you can see, and look much the same as ever - a bit browner and dustier!

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Alastair, regular updates sounds exciting!