Sunday, March 10, 2013

Around the Hospital

Most of this blog is a collection of photos from around the hospital and around town from the past few weeks.  Hopefully it will add more depth to what you already know about Mbingo.

This is from Youth Day just a few weeks ago.  It is a national holiday when all the children march and dance in celebration with their school groups.  The children work for weeks on their group routines and then perform them one after another.  You can see there was a big crowd while this group was dancing.

This is Angela presenting a case at our weekly tumor board conference.  This is a combined conference that involves all the medical and surgical attendings, residents, and students.  Medicine and surgery alternate on bringing a case that crosses the two disciplines.  The case presented this day was a child with sickle cell disease with extramedullary hematopoeisis (blood cells made outside the bone marrow) causing a mass in the liver.  Angela and Simo (CIMS resident) are working on a case report because there is nothing in the medical literature like it.

This is Aaron Bryant and Jacob Stephenson, close friends and recent volunteers to Mbingo.  Aaron is a videographer who came to do a PAACS (surgery residency) and a CIMS (medicine/pediatrics residency) video that we will use to spread the word about Mbingo.  Jacob is a pediatric surgeon that comes to work with us twice a year and is a huge blessing to the surgery department and the many children he operates on.  The videos are currently in production, but Aaron did a few short videos while around Mbingo that are already finished.  The first one is titled "I Am Cameroonian" and is at this link -  The next one is from the New Hope Village Leper Colony and is at this link -

This is the future chemotherapy room that is getting close to being finished.  The floors are going in and then the walls will be painted.  After that, we can start giving chemotherapy in a much better environment.  Currently, they have to share a small room with the patients getting EGDs and colonoscopies.  We had to wait a few months to get enough money to buy the floor tiles, but now we are close to putting the room to use.

Electricity continues to be a challenge here.  We rely mostly on the government power company, but they often have low current or cut the power off completely.  This picture is our generator, which has quite a few years on it.  We are in the process of buying a new one, but they are expensive.  As you can imagine, it is a big deal for our patients when the power goes out, especially those on oxygen.  Frequently, the generator is slow to start or needs to be manually started (with prayer that it comes on easily).

This is our version of staff parking.  Most of the hospital employees walk to work, but some have motorbikes.  It is first come, first serve parking and there are no numbered spots.  You also can't get upset about a little ding from the close parking.

This is the hospital kitchen.  Most of the hospitalized patients have their caretakers cook for them, but a few need food provided by the hospital.  Traditional Cameroonian cooking is done over an open wood fire like the one here.  It can become quite smokey in the outdoor kitchen.

This shows the classic African orange sunset that we are blessed to see during the dry season.  The orange color is from all the dust in the air before the rainy season starts.

But now, the rains have started!  You can see this storm coming over Mbingo Hill in the distance.  The front side of Mbingo is still brown, but you can see the green already coming down from the top and on the backside.  We really enjoy the rainy season.

Especially Isaac!  Here he is in a fresh puddle with his boots on with Chuck.  This is one of his new favorite activities.  A few days ago, he woke from a nap and the first thing he said was "It's raining...there are puddles out there!"  And out the door he went.

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