We started off the day in the operating room with two cases that are rare in the US and not uncommon in Malawi- a mastectomy for a young (30s) woman with very advanced breast cancer and an emergent exploratory laparotomy for an older gentleman with a sigmoid volvulus (last part of colon twists around itself like a balloon animal and can squeeze off its own blood supply for the non-medical crowd reading this). I was talking to a visiting resident who is working on breast cancer screening with UNC project tonight and she was telling me that there is absolutely no formal breast cancer screening program or guidelines in Malawi. Additionally, there are only two mammography machines in Malawi as a whole and it costs about 100 USD to get a mammogram, clearly out of reach for the majority of people who live on something like 1.50 USD per day here.
We picked up Jenny's dad from the airport this afternoon- he's a cardiologist in the states and will be working in the hospital for the week. We toured him around the hospital and then went to the market over by Bwaila hospital to pick up some veggies for dinner as well as some Chitenge fabric. Chitenge is a patterned fabric very common in East Africa that's worn as a sarong by most women, but is also used as a sling to carry babies as well as to wrap baskets carrying food or supplies. I hope to get some scrub hats made from some of the fabric I purchased today.
|Morning report, presenting an orthopedic case...|
|Future docs. Match day is 3/20!|
|Vanessa, surgery resident, and Dr. Charles.|
|endless Malawi sky-Lilongwe is in the distance|
|We have an endoscopy suite|
|Main hall of the hospital|
|en route to the burn unit|
|Renal cheat sheet on the wall in dialysis.|
|Families prepare food and new clothing and bring it to the hospital each day in these large plastic bins.|
|outside corridor of the burn unit|
|Waiting with her babies. The youngest is carried in a chitenge.|
|another great sign|
|Home sweet Lilongwe.|