Well, it seems the rainy season is over as quickly as it started, leaving behind only a few threatening rolls of thunder in the distance. But that doesn’t mean cholera is over. Or the work.
The hospital has been at 120% capacity (just over 200 patients) plus the Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC) and we are feeling the crunch. There are often 2 children per bed, even in the Intensive Care Unit. Wednesday, there was myself and a national doctor to round on all these patients! Needless to say, I’m tired and Sunday couldn’t come soon enough! Another present arrived this week. A new expat doctor to replace the one that left a week before. Raghu happens to be a friend of mine, and did his ER training in Montreal. In fact, he is the one who mentored me through my MSF application process. Small world!
It was a good thing he arrived when he did because Friday hit with a vengeance! It started with an urgent call from the CTC to help put in an IV or an Intraosseus (IO, needle placed into the leg bone of a comatose patient) into a dehydrated child. Then I sat down for morning report for all of 5 minutes before being called to resuscitate an infant. Between Raghu and I, we rounded on about 100 patients, each put in an IO, both did lumbar punctures and admitted and discharged countless other patients. That was before 2PM.
Today was thankfully very peaceful, but the knowledge that cholera is traveling up the river is looming over us. We will see what this week brings us!