Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The adventures of Harry, Lint, and Meeshak

Yesterday (July 7th) was Saba Saba holiday in Tanzania, so most of the restaurants, stores, and even the Peds & Surgery departments at Mt. Meru were closed. Dr. Lyimo (our advisor here) told us to take the day off, but we decided we would come in anyway. We all were in the Labor & Delivery ward. Now that we are starting to get more used to the process of birth at Mt. Meru, we are getting more involved. Dr. Ali and Dr. Lyimo were both there so they could teach us examination and delivery skills in English :)

It was exciting ... Hailey delivered her first baby and Lindsay scrubbed in on her first C-section. Overall the count is Hailey assisting on two deliveries (two girls), Michelle assisting on two deliveries (two boys), and Lindsay assisting on a C-section delivery of a girl and she observed a C-section of a twin boy & girl.

After each baby is born, it is weighed and taken to a large bassinette where babies basically "spoon" each other under a heat lamp. It's very cute. And they are all wrapped up in colorful ktenges that their mothers have brought for them. This is how the mother identifies her baby ... by the color of the ktenge, not by an identification band.

Today Lindsay was back doing surgery rounds where she saw a case of anthrax and many broken femurs. We're currently trying to understand why there are so many femur fractures here ... that's the biggest bone in the body!

Hailey was back in the pediatric department, where she saw lots of cases of malaria, as well as a few cases of malnutrition (Kwashiorkor and Merasmus). She also saw a 2 year old boy with late stage AIDs. Hailey says that the fevers of the kids there are just "boiling."

Michelle was back on the labor ward where I assisted in a delivey of yet another boy and scrubbed in on a C-section delivery of another little boy (see a pattern?). The doctors told me that I was very timid during the surgery ... but I reminded them that this was the first time I had scrubbed in and that I would be better next time.

We are all smiling now when we finish our days! We're hoping to go to the coast this weekend.


  1. PS ... there is one nurse who just can't seem to get the correct pronunciation of our names. The best she can do is "Harry, Lint, and Meeshak." We'll take it!

  2. Michelle - This is Pam (Matt Ellis' mom). What an exciting time for you. Congratulations on your first deliveries.
    I'll be following