Atutur Hospital – here we come! We climb back into the vehicle and speed off to visit Atutur Hospital, a new place for AFCA. I am excited to see this place not only because it is new, but also because we have been told that we can make a big difference here.
Of course, it isn’t as easy as simply visiting a hospital. No, no! First, we must stop at the regional office to talk to the supervising doctor, John. There, we are introduced all around and meet some people with I know I am going to enjoy working in the near future. Then, we must be introduced to the “big guy”, the guy who oversees everything that happens in the entire district. At the beginning, he doesn’t seem impressed to meet us, but as time goes by, it seems he warmed up to us. We finally get to leave and we drive to the hospital where a group of doctors, nurses, and administrators are waiting for us.
After a soda, glucose cookies, and a shortish presentation, we visit wards to assess the needs and to see what AFCA can do to help. There are beds in this facility, but most lack mattresses. There is a huge need for IV poles, more beds and tons of mattresses, gloves, sutures, masks, scrubs, all kinds of surgical equipment, a surgery table, office furniture, a refrigerator, autoclaves, etc. This is a place we can sink our teeth into, like we did at Kilembe Mines. I can see us working here for a couple of years, getting them set with some good supplies and equipment. In order to do this, though, I’d like to see them do some clean up and organizing, so we’ll see how this partnership progresses. I am excited to find out!
We visit the delivery room to find out what is needed for maternity. I turn the corner into the ward and sort of stop, sort of don’t stop, and stare. There is a rooster walking around in the room, where a woman has just given birth! Yep, there they are…a rooster and a chicken, hanging out underneath a labor bed. Mental note: if you guys want medical supplies from AFCA, we strongly suggest that you remove the poultry from the maternity ward and from all other wards, as well.
John, the supervising doctor, declares that the baby boy just born will be named Otanya. All males in the area have names that start with an O, so this poor little guy is stuck with Otanya. Geez, louise! He is a cutie, though and I pray that he’ll be blessed and that he’ll be a man of honor and mercy. I hope to hear of Otanya one day as the great son, father, doctor, brother, community health worker, or teacher.