28th March 2019

The past 4 days have been particularly special for me.  After several visits, I feel I know Lira and its environment pretty well.  When we visited the hospital in town on the first day, it was really quite distressing.  There has been no rain for 5 months,  the hospital grounds have always been so well kept,  tidy and green,  that somehow it overshadowed the situation on the wards,  which was often so overcrowded,  busy and often disorganised.  A bit like the duck on the pond analogy, with the chaos under the water (in the ward),  as they paddle madly to keep in one place.

The University  hospital was also parched and seemed overburdened with pressures,  although the C Section that I went to was absolutely inspirational,  went smoothly and had a good outcome.

Then on Tuesday the rain came.  The world has come alive, the temperature has dropped a little,  there is now a pleasant breeze and its as if someone has released a pressure cooker.  Even the grass is beginning to sprout.

I have managed to achieve so much.  My anaesthetic machine has arrived and is working (I cant use it yet as there is no halothane) the haemoglobin devices that I had mended are now distributed to the lab and the theatres.  The study that we started some months ago is going to continue with one of the new anaesthetic Technicians, the work on the drug chart is going well.  The doctors,  nurses and pharmacists have all seen the presentation and are keen to get the chart into place (Monday?) We are seeing the advantages of introducing something to a new hospital against the difficulties of trying to change embedded practice.

I have had a good discussion with Tom Otim,  Hospital Directorat Lira University Hospital,  we have agreed the way forward for a PTC course in October,  the plans are laid,  in particular the political correctness,  who to invite,  etc. We also discussed the potential that the University Hospital has to host surgical camps over the next few months, while they have capacity for additional patients.

And that is just my progress. The rest of the team have been superb.  They have settled in and developed their own teaching strategies; we are doing far more focused teaching, with each year group having two full days of teaching that matches their curriculum to a certain extent.   Midwifery and paeds in particular, as well as some breast surgery, aspirating oranges as cysts!!  Some handwashing and plenty of laughter.   We are also keen to continue to support Lira Regional Referral Hospital.  They have lost some good staff who have come to the University.  Today there are 3 team members working there.  Hopefully they are going to come back feeling positive about their experiences.

4 days done and so we are nearly half way through.  After nearly 5 years of visiting, I feel I am amongst friends,  working together in a very positive way.  I am excited for the future of Lira University.  I remain excited about the possibilities for the next few days.


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