There was no radio at 5am this morning. I was very confused by this! Took me a good 10 minutes to realise that it was most definitely morning and that I needed to get up. I slept much better last night on the mattress. I reckon it’s because I saw the rest of the village yesterday and I am much more appreciative of the mattress! However I definitely heard something in my room last night, I wasn’t quite brave enough to find out what creepy crawly it was but there is a dead cockroach in the room this morning….
I was much more in my own flow today at the clinic. I saw several cases of malaria, measles, gastro-enteritis and ‘waist pain’. I don’t know where the diagnosis of ‘waist pain’ has came from, but it seems a lot of people get diagnosed with it! I find it a little frustrating, as well as how most patients leave on anti-malarial, antibiotics and a worming tablet. It’s certainly a different way of practicing medicine! Jeff asked for my opinion on a couple patients today, at first I froze thinking he was testing my knowledge but I came to realise he was genuinely asking my opinion and changed his management plan for a few cases as a result. It felt so nice to be asked for my opinion to help rather than just to quiz me! Such a confidence boost.
I also got involved in the family planning side of things today and gave a few patients an intra-muscular injection. I personally like the poster which tells men they should plan a family as it will ‘make them admired by other men!’ Maybe England should try phrases like that when encouraging family planning at home!
I finished clinic early today (2pm) as Wisdom took me on a canoe trip. We went in one of the big mahogany boats. They really are impressive bit of ingenuity – I would love to know exactly how they make them! Sadly our canoe kept slowly filling up with water but Wisdom was on hand with a bucket! The guy who took us on the trip was really good and kept pointing out different fish and wildlife to me and explained to me about how they fish. Well he explained that they are ‘red fish, white fish and mud fish’. It was really peaceful and I never wanted it to end. We passed one of the outreach villages on the way and the kids all came running up to the edge shouting ‘friend’ and waving. It was really sweet.
When we got back some of the children from the local school wanted to play, so they taught me some of their games and I taught them a few of mine! (never imagined I would do the hokey-cokey in Ghana!) we literally played till it was dark, and they also showed me their English homework, I may of helped them a little with it, and then they all got me to read to them and they would copy every word I said! It literally went on for ages, until it was dark and Jeff called me for dinner. Unfortunately dinner wasn’t as tasty as previous nights… I got given condensed milk on pasta. I never knew this could even be classed as a meal! I was polite and ate what I could though – I am now very pleased I brought a couple cheeky snacks with me to the village!
Tomorrow I am going with the clinic to do school inspections, I can’t wait. Sounds very exciting it will be good to see inside the schools and what they are like!
Written by Jodie Booth, medical student at the University of Sheffield