Yesterday we visited Kisoro District Hospital, first day of actual field work. The government finances the health care system in Uganda. Everything from health talk to medicine to surgery is free. This includes dental care, mental health care and vaccinations. Suck on that, Carema!
We got introduced to the hospital by a nurse who works with the women’s clinic and the cervical cancer screening project. She took us for a walk around the hospital and we got to see a caesarean trough an open window and a lot more. The hospital is divided into an outpatient unit and an inpatient unit. The inpatient unit is always overcrowded. The two wards (one female, one male) for medical and surgical patients with 30 beds each, all in the same room, are always over crowded. With a normal number of patients being 60, half of them are sleeping on the floor.
The cervical cancer screening project in Kisoro was introduced by the American organisation Doctors for Global Health in 2007. It seams to be the only, or one of very few, screening projects in Uganda. It is great for us to be able to see how it works here in Kisoro and what difference the screening makes. But it is also sad to see that there is way to few screening projects, as the prevalence of cervical cancer in Uganda is one of the highest in the world. The prevalence is shown to dramatically decrease with preventive measures like the screening project. Introducing national prevention schemes in Sweden in the 70’s has cut the incidence in half.
Also, we had our first interview yesterday. We were a bit nervous as we have never interviewed before, but it was very interesting and we got a lot of information. We are now transcribing the interview, cringing at the sound of our own voices (will get used to that) and realising how much time it actually takes, but we’re still in a good mood. It wasn’t raining yesterday, not a single drop all day, which makes us in even better mood. All other days the rain has started at 5 pm and after that it simply does not stop.
Tomorrow we’re joining some nurses in the outreach project. We very much look forward that. Even tough one of the people working in the laboratory clearly stated that the outreaches basically mean walking in mountains for two hours. Guess we’ll have prove that we got our walking shoes on.