Tuesday, June 15, 2010
This Is Africa (TIA) Three days in Africa I still haven’t got over the fact of how wondrous this place is. It is a different world. The house I am staying at the research institute and the hospital campus is quite nice. The place has the rare luxury of hot water and internet. It even has its own generator. Last night the power was out in all other places for couple hours, but in my house we only had a couple minutes of black out. Internet is painfully slow, but I’m getting use to it- compare to the surroundings, I feel quiet spoiled to be honest.
The research institute has its own garden where we can get fresh vegetables and fruits. I went and got some fresh carrots, strawberries, and lettuce. I didn’t experience much jetlag the past few days. It is quite nice also that I have completely quit coffee since I got here. Embrace a different life style!
This morning I rounded the hospital pediatrics wards with Dr. S. The peds wards here only admit children younger than 5 yrs old. Most of them I saw were newborns or infants carried by their moms. The wards have several rooms. Each room has up to 16 beds with tight space and very poor ventilation. There were lots of kids with malnutrition and HIV/TB infections. It was heart wrenching to see these little kids wrapped in layers, weighed less than 2kg, and had no fat around their bodies. Their skin is hypo-pigmented and hair color golden because of protein deficiency. There was one critical room (similar to ICU in the States) where there is AC to monitor the room temperature. The kids there were all quite sick – I saw one with meningitis and another with cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia.