Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You know you are in a Tanz. hospital if...

You know you are in a Tanzanian hospital if…
A 10 year old boy with two broken arms is in a room with six women (one whom is coughing up a lung and another who has an infected wound that is so deep that when the doctor comes in to change the dressing everyone else in the room can see her bone)

The families of the six woman in the room are constantly trying to help the little boy (almost too much)

Patients have to bring their own food (or buy it from a service car that comes through) and everyone shares their food with one another (and eats the food from patients as well)

You read a children’s book and all the grandmothers gather around to listen and look at the pictures

An old woman asks you to teach her English while you are trying to comfort a little boy post-op

When you start teaching her English all the others join in and compete with each other to get the words right

Strangers sit on random patients beds and also help random patients use bed-pans (without gloves).

There is absolutely no privacy (i.e. no currents exist, people walk into other peoples rooms, everyone knows what is going on with everyone else)

More priests come into the room than doctors

The nurse uses sterile gloves for a tourniquet to draw blood instead of using it to protect herself from the blood.

Power goes out multiple times during the night

Family members sleep on the floor of the crowded hospital room

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