Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 18 - Back to work

It was back to work today after having the long weekend off.  I spent the first part of the morning working in the lab where all the tests are conducted and then went to a ceremony that was being held at the clinic.

The way it works here is that the patient visits the doctor and the doctor writes any tests that need to be done in the patient's notebook (patient records are very different here to at home!). The patient then takes their notebook to the lab where the lab technician reads the notes and carries out the testing and then writes in the results.

Today I was testing patients for malaria. I had to prick the patients finger with the lancet (the same horrible one they use for testing HIV). As the lancet is so big it hurts the patients a lot and they would jump and then I would jump. At first I was trying to be gentle by not inserting the lancet to far but I quickly learned that it is best to just do it because if you are to careful it doesn't go in far enough and you have to do it again. I figure it is better to do it once properly than have to do it twice. I would then scoop up their blood and put it on the test strip and add some liquid. The blood would then seep down the strip and show either one line for negative or two lines for positive.

Next, I went to the ceremony. The ceremony was held because Pasua was opening a new building and there is also two new vaccines being rolled out in Tanzania. One protects against pneumococcal which causes pneumonia and the other protects against rotavirus which causes diarrhoea. It is a pretty big deal because those two issues are the cause of many death of Tanzanian children. Our night guard here at TV house, Babu, buried his two week old grandson on the 1st of January as he had died from pneumonia. The Tanzanian health ministers came and gave speeches (not that we could understand them!) and there were TV cameras and photographers there. At the end of the ceremony Leonie presented Tabatha with some medical equipment and we met the government officials. I am pretty sure we were on the news tonight!

After lunch I attempted washing my laundry by hand for the second time. I definitely did a better job this time!

Tonight I went out to the Green Bamboo BBQ restaurant for dinner with Aynsley, Sarita, Ally, Jenny, Leonie and Leonie's friend Karen. The restaurant was pretty awesome. It has an open air setting and when you walk in there is a big round bbq with all different types of meat cooking in a circle. It looked amazing. The food was really good too. I ordered a 1/4kg mixed grill with a side of fries and a side of salad as well as a soda (they don't know what you are talking about if you say soft drink here!) and a milkshake and it cost 13 000 shillings ($7.80AUD). So cheap!

Tomorrow, I will be working in inpatients. I haven't worked there yet so it should be interesting.

I am off to bed now. Good night. I love you <3

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