Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our Medical Experience at Lewinika General Hospital

This week on the medical wards at Lewanika General Hospital was certainly a whirlwind of emotions. Day one, we began to get familiar with the ward and participated in rounds with the Zambian doctor and nurse team. It is so refreshing that the healthcare team here is so willing to share their knowledge about tropical diseases with us students! We have learned and experienced so much already that we would not have seen back in Canada.

Day three was definitely the hardest. Not long after arriving on the male medical ward, a young man suffering from severe malaria stopped breathing. We helped the doctors and nurses try to resuscitate him, but sadly he passed away. The team worked hard, and did everything they could. It's not easy seeing someone your own age (22/23) pass away from an illness that virtually does not exist in Canada. In Zambia, family mourns the loss of a loved one by wailing to express their grief. It is not a sound that we will ever forget.

One of the nurses we worked with on the female medical ward soon became a good teacher as well as a great friend. Her name is Tina and she is extremely hardworking, caring, and knowledgeable. She took the time out of her day to really explain the process behind HIV/AIDS, as it is not a disease we encounter regularly. We really enjoyed working with her and look forward to seeing her around the hospital in the coming weeks!

-Hayley and Dana

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