Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last Day in Koidu

by Heather Quinn

Today was our last in Koidu. We had a leisurely start to the day. We ate spam and bread for breakfast, a very common breakfast here. We went on our way to Koidu hospital for a tour. We met the second medical doctor named Dr. Sheik Mohamed who arrived two weeks ago in Koidu. He will be assisting Dr. Levy with patient care. He did his training in Freetown. He says the number one thing he needs in the hospital is sterile OR equipment. The most common surgical cases are c-sections and hernia repairs. They call the OR a theater. That totally confused me the first time I heard that. We saw the microbiology lab, the pharmacy, the pediatric suite, the OB suite, the women/men's medical/surgical suites, the PT department, prosthesis making department and the TB/leprosy clinic. We saw a group of nurses in training as well as a CHO in training. Everyone was very friendly. It's just so sad the conditions of the facility. They really are trying to make do with what they have. 

After our tour, we met with the district medical officer of the Kono district. He was more than thrilled to meet us. He will be signing our NGO status papers. We were able to gather some epidemiology stats while there. After that we stopped by our medical office to get the microscope and did some organization of meds. We also talked finances and got the portable scanner working. In total, we saw 314 patients over the past 4 village medical clinic days. We made over 2 million Leones from the registration fees. While we were out we stopped by a volunteer group meeting that is living in Koidu near our land. They volunteer cleaning up their town by cutting grass and picking up trash on the grounds of the hospital. They provide free English, technology, computer programming, and other classes for youth. They were a great community activist volunteer group. They fully embraced our medical clinic proposal and agreed to help us build the structure once it's time. We were encouraged to meet this group and to see them helping their community. 

Today was a good last day. The thing I'll remember the most about Koidu is the friendly and welcoming people. Their waves and smiles have been so precious. I will definitely miss this town and the people. I can't wait to come back.
Beautiful sunset at Uncle Ben's

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