Unbelievable how everything could fit in our three suitcases on this twelfth visit to Tanzania. And even more surprising was that the three suitcases with clothes, medicines, plaster of Paris, bandages, screws, pins and parts for braces had a total weight of exactly 60 kilograms.
The perfect beginning of this trip was promising, but this time the number of patients in Selian Hospital was a bit disappointing because Dr. Murila had been visiting recently and had operated his share of patients.
The outpatient clinic on Saturday was busy as always, a bit chaotic at times, but the problems presented were very real. More and more we see also orthopaedic problems caused by aging: arthrosis of hips and knees, back problems and osteoporosis. The surgery days were filled with the usual patients with clubfeet, serious O and X deformities due to fluorosis and older badly healed fractures.
There were often consultations in between the surgeries: the hall of the operation room and the coffee room sometimes served as an outpatient clinic. The consulting team of three wazungus (which means in Kiswahili ‘white people’) consisted this time of Henk Beekman, Steven De Coninck and Frank van Oosterhout.
At the rehabilitation centre in Monduli, “Huduma Ya Walemavu”, everything was as usual, but there were not too many patients any more. Most patients seen by Dr. Murila had left already for home.
It was a great week of work and good company. Very motivating and rewarding. We are looking forward to the next visit.