Blog entry written by Melody Mumford, Resident Physician, UIC
1st night in Saraya under the mosquito nets was unremarkable. Woke up to a rooster crow at around 4:30 am, was in and out of sleep after that. Got up around 7:10 am…another cold bucket shower…very invigorating! Peace Corps volunteers brought bread, jam, coffee and nutella. We then headed over to the hospital and Andrew, Chris (PCV), Paulette and I headed to Kedegou in the back of an ambulance. Our goal in K-town was to meet some of the local physicians and introduce ourselves. Several physicians from Senegal were present for a training and we had the opportunity to introduce ourselves and briefly describe our project. We also got to meet the head physician of K-town.
We have attempted to withdraw money for the past few days, but unfortunately the ATM’s have been down for several days. Nevertheless, we were able to provide money for our meals at the hospital.
We traveled back to K-town in the afternoon. Upon arriving we heard that Tracy and Nora along with 2 midwives from the hosp were in a breech delivery. Paulette and I were allowed to go into the delivery room. The midwife and Tracy worked together to deliver the newborn. The whole process only took about 20 mins but it felt a lot longer. At the time of delivery, the newborn had no tone and was not breathing, heart rate was in the 60’s. Tracy and I started stimulating the newborn and then started bagging him. We stimulated and bagged for about 10 mins. The midwives assisted with suctioning using a foot pump and a bulb suction. The newborn started turning pink at about 5 mins and then took a few breaths at 10 mins. It felt like longer… He finally opened his eyes and tone improved. The experience was very rewarding for me. Later in the evening we discussed the details of the delivery with Andrew and Tracy and then with the rest of the hospital staff. We voiced our desire to continue to work as a team with the local midwifes and physicians.
We also had the opportunity to meet the Prefet and sous-Prefet. They seemed very grateful for the help we hope to provide in the fight against cervical cancer. We got to meet the Chef du Village. He gave us Senegalese names; my name is now Aissatou. Not sure what it means but it sounds cool.
Under the mosquito net now, ready to sleep.