Kisoro Hospital has no locked doors, no bells to ring and there’s no authorisation needed to get into a certain ward.
As there are a lot of patients in the always overcrowded wards and many of the patients has relatives around to cook, collect water and clean their clothes for them, we doubt that the staff knows who belongs there and who doesn’t. We can go through the whole hospital area and into all the wards without anyone asking anything or wondering what we are doing there, people are simply saying hi. We’re guessing that’s a privilege the white colour of our skin gives us.
Thursday morning we spend some hours in the maternity ward. There is one delivery room at the hospital, it contains six beds separated by drapes. The women delivering are not allowed to have a partner, relative or friend around, only patient and midwives allowed in the room.
The on duty midwife, Erina, took care of us, showed us around and answered all our questions about the maternity care in Kisoro Hospital. We got to witness a woman delivering her first child. One newborn baby had difficulties breathing and needed oxygen, but no oxygen was available. Erina did what she could and the baby started screaming, went on breathing and were fed, all good in the end. However lack of important material is a fact. Though, the midwives in the delivery room seam to do a great job. According to Erina the newborn babies chances to survive are good. According to WHO the infant mortality rate in Uganda is 44 out of every 1000 live births. Equivalent number in Sweden is two.
In general the women in the room made very little sound. Being used to the somewhat noisier Swedish delivering rooms this was a bit surprising.
Also, WE MET GORILLAS!!!