Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I'm sure many of you have heard the phrase TIA- it means THIS IS AFRICA and it is a phrase we are becoming very familiar with. The African Life is very different from what we are used to in Canada. Many of the things that are soo easily accessible to us in Canada (running water, medical supplies, washers and dryers!!!!!!, food etc etc) are practicallly nonexistent in Zambia. We have gained such an appreciation for what we have at home especially after witnessing what the people of Zambia live without. The people here use the phrase TIA to signify what African life is like - you basically make due with what you have and that's all you can do! As we said before, we are coming to learn this VERY quickly.
We have found one of our greatest challenges has been practicing in the Lewanika Hospital here in Mongu. There are next to no medical supplies and very little resources for people to access, not to mention an overall lack of healthcare professionals. We have come to realize that there is a vast amount of education needed here for the staff and patients, particularly with the recurrent medical conditions they are exposed to everyday (Tuberculosis, HIV, Malaria, Meningitis, Malnutrition and the list goes on). There is also a severe lack of funding for the hospital to train and retain health care professionals. It is truly a system in need.
On a brighter note, we are learning so much from our experiences at the hospital. Each of us have been stationed in different areas throughout the hospital. Mainly, outpatient (sort of like emergency), maternity, medical/surgical units, pediatrics, ART (HIV clinic) and the operating theater (aka - operating room). The staff and students have been very welcoming and supportive of us. We are soooo grateful for them and all their hospitality. We have also had Jess and Fay to guide and support us through this huge transition which has been unbelievably helpful. We could not possibly thank them enough for all the support, mentorship, and love they have bestowed upon us.
We are sorry we have not put up pictures yet, we are having technical difficulties with internet connections. So, stay tuned and pictures are shortly to follow!
Again- we would like to send our thoughts and love to our 'tenth' student who left us early in our journey. We are always thinking of you B.C. and wishing you and your family well. xoxo 'Your long lost Lozi's!'