I'm So Lucky ...  

TheQuietGuy2005 54M
3484 posts
8/19/2006 11:26 am

Last Read:
4/30/2008 3:40 am

I'm So Lucky ...

It's a pretty bad state of affairs when work comes between me and my blog but so it goes. The last couple of days have been particularly demanding and I'm expecting more of the same over the weeks to come as we work towards a major deadline.

The fact that I've had the temerity to organise a few days of annual leave to spend with Son doesn't help! It'll be worth it, though, no doubt about that.

But working in an NHS hospital nowadays is no bed of roses. Money is always short, even for things that would be regarded as necessities, and the continual change ordained by the powers that be (including central government) adds another unwelcome layer of complexity to life. It's becoming harder and harder to provide what would be regarded as a satisfactory service.

Morale is hitting an all-time low.

I suspect that most people in the UK reading this have their own horror stories, whether as patients or as employees, even though there's no doubt that the vast majority of patients somehow manage to receive good treatment in NHS hospitals. Maybe I'm biased but I suspect it's got a lot to do with the dedication of the front-line staff.

As I've mentioned before, though, I read a lot and I keep on seeing stories showing how the health services of most of the western hemisphere are struggling to meet current needs. Where health is privately funded, the costs seem to be rising rapidly; where social funding is the model, the ever-growing range of expensive treatments available poses an increasing problem.

It's easy to complain but I received an email today forwarded by a colleague which made me think hard about the whole situation. It's from his sister, 24 years old, who's working in an African hospital. See what you think and you, like I, may end up thinking how lucky you are ...

Hi {name removed}, just a wee hello from Kenya,

Hope you’re keeping well and that you’re still getting nice sunshine. The weather here isn’t great, lots of rain and thunder and lightening.... although its fork lightening so its pretty cool to watch. I’m staying in a wee village called {name removed}, the people are so nice and have really welcomed us into their community. They are really poor and food and water is difficult to find, so we travel into the nearest city, {name removed}, at the weekends to get food and water to keep us going during the week...so as you can imagine we get a lot of visitors around dinner time (all the kids) looking for food, so when we get back from hospital there are usually 10-20 kids sitting in our living room...and they are all so hungry u just can’t say no....well I cant anyway.

The hospital is a nightmare...they don’t know the meaning of the word sterilization, they wash instruments after use under cold water only, ready for next patient. The wards smell like a zoo...no joke...there are about 3 sinks in the whole hospital that work and by work I mean the cold water tap works...no warm water at all. Because its their winter they have all the windows closed because they think its freezing but it is actually very warm for us, so with the smell and heat, ward rounds can be very difficult. I’ve delivered a baby by c-section, done a circumcision on a boy of 9 and taken blood from known HIV patients .... very scary! 24% of people in the village have HIV so I have to assume all patients have HIV and protect myself always with no exceptions. I’ve also performed an ERPC, following an incomplete miscarriage and this was done without any pain relief...can you imagine?? So many things are done without pain relief its crazy. I’ve watched abdominal surgery be carried out under local anaesthetic, (lignocaine).

A large percentage of children die before the age of 5, so mothers don’t get attached to their babies when they are young, they care for them in a very animalistic way, you never see them cuddling or kissing their babies. I have seen so many young kids die mostly due to birth complications, malaria or HIV, and the mothers barely shed a tear...where I’ve had to leave the room to cry myself. It’s just so different.

Its an experience I shall never forget, I’m really glad I came here; I have stopped crying myself to sleep now; but I’m so looking forward to a warm bath, a toilet (they only have long drops here) and of course water. Oh, and a bed without cockroaches, poisonous caterpillars and lizards for company.

I’ll keep in touch regularly; however, you should come out here and help; see what a ‘situation’ really looks like.


rm_dizzyandfun 48F
752 posts
8/19/2006 4:26 pm

I guess you could say we re all prety much spoilt.....sometimes its good just to take 5 minutes out and appreciate just how lucky we really are.

Diz xxx

MissAnnThrope 56F
11488 posts
8/19/2006 5:13 pm

What's sad is, there are people in this country who don't even get the medical care these people in Kenya are getting. And except for the poisonous catepillars, live in the same kind of conditions. It sucks.

(The poisonous catepillar got to me. The other morning I woke up and there was a catepillar in bed with me. An ugly one, too.)

hotandhorny107 58F

8/20/2006 9:50 am

What makes this story even worse is the fact that conditions like this actually exist and are virtually ignored by the wealthy nations that could well afford to make changes. Instead, they choose to support terrorists, war efforts, and other policies that are equally absurd.

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