Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turning things around

Photo: A woman waiting for medical care outside the hospital. (as shot) November, 2009

In low-resource health care settings physicians have to acclimate in order to provide the best possible care to their patients. It is important to best utilize what is available to them in order to make a diagnosis. Two days ago we went to a clinic in Nassarawa state, Nigeria; just a little north of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Alongside the highway we saw many scattered settlements. People from these small villages go to a central hospital to receive the most pressing medical care needs.

Physicians at this hospital make diagnoses without basic lab tests or equipment. Our project provides these physicians with a bacterial culture machine which may be used free of charge. On our last site visit we were shocked to notice that at this hospital the bacterial culture machine has only been used a handful of times. The local physicians have become habituated to practicing medicine in a low-resource hospital. Adding basic services provided at other hospitals is perceived as a burden to the physicians' diagnostic regiment.

Hopefully, we can turn this around.

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