|Theatre list at Shunga|
I have a busy spell planned until the end of October. The doctor from Matyazo hospital is on leave and I started last week to spend Tuesday (day and night) and Wednesday of each week there. There is a day of ward rounds, selected outpatients and a night on call, followed by a long day in the operating theatre. I still struggle with medical Swahili. It has been good to work with a young Tanzanian medical student, Hosea, whose English and medicine are both great.
Thursday is a theatre list in Shunga Hospital with Henry Ndege. He is an ‘AMO - assistant medical officer’ – not a fully trained doctor, but the kind of person who is ‘doctor’ for many of the smaller hospitals of Tanzania. AMO’s often perform surgery, and it is a delight to teach him. He operates as well as any of the juniors I have worked with in UK, and better than most. We have added prostatectomy, hysterectomy and mastectomy to his operation skills. Facilities are, by UK standards, pretty basic. For medical readers anaesthetic is either local or ketamine, and facilities for post op care largely limit what we can do surgically.
Every Monday I go to the Government hospital here in Kasulu, so by Thursday night I am pretty tired of surgery and bad roads. That leaves Friday to teach English and do everything else, and maybe even relax a bit.
It's not what everyone would call retirement - but it's challenging and fulfilling!