Ghana Blog: Her Royal Highness, the Princess Marie Louise Ch

July 8th, 2015

This week, we are welcomed by the PML Children’s Hospital to shadow and assist. We were given a quick tour of the hospital’s different units (Oral Rehydration Therapy, Out-Patient, Dental, Malnutrition, Physiotherapy, and Laboratory to name a few) and an orientation of its history. Though relatively small, this hospital is internationally recognized as the children’s hospital in Ghana where a Dr. Cicely Williams discovered protein deficiency syndrome, or “kwashiorkor”. Because of this, a main focus of the hospital is treating malnutrition in children and educating mothers on how to prepare nutritious meals. In addition to this focus, as mentioned above, there are many other units and departments that make the hospital almost fully functional and self-sufficient.

I first started my rotations in the Out-Patient Department. Erin and I were in charge of taking the temperatures of every patient that needed to see a doctor. “Hectic” is a word that epitomizes this experience. Patients and their families would come to our area 4-5 at a time to get their temperature taken. Then, we would have to relay all these numbers to the nurse in charge of recording them in the patient’s files, all the while trying to calm all the sick babies who were rightfully frightened by what in the world we just stuck in their armpits. The patients would then move on to the scale to weigh themselves. It was a challenge to keep everyone’s numbers straight especially since this was not a one-at-a-time, sequential process. After this, they would be assigned either emergency, priority, or regular status before lining up once again to be seen by one of about three pediatricians on duty.

Though the whole process was shocking at first, I began to appreciate how patient everyone must be. The queues seem endless, and there is no such thing as personal space at the OPD, but guardians and healthcare providers worked together to make an arduous process as painless as possible, ultimately for the welfare of PML’s young patients. I was grateful to be a part of it.

Best,

Chederli

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