I like the morning meeting at the Kunduz Trauma Centre: it is short, but every department in the hospital is represented. Every department gives a brief report and then activities for the day are planned. The morning meeting means that everybody knows what the main issues are afflicting our operations. It means that the artisans know when the pharmacy is struggling with drug supplies. It means that the anaesthetist knows when the electricity generator is acting up and that the human resource managers know when a resistant bacterium is infecting the wounds of our patients.
We have become accustomed to simply answering ‘normal activities’ when asked for report. This short reply is to the point and, in fact, quite comforting: It means that the emergency room and in-patient departments are not breaking under a rising patient load. It means that the operating theatre is able to perform scheduled operations. It means that copious out-patients will be seen for follow up with doctors, dressing nurses and physiotherapists. It means that the guards at the gate will handle the usual high influx – some will be injured, some will come to visit and others to work. It also means that construction on the new hospital wing will continue and the long term plan to produce a complete and high quality trauma hospital in Kunduz is on track.
The final point on the agenda is ‘movements’. The responsible logistician answers: “We’re going to the airport with one expat at 9am” There is no other business and with that the last morning meeting for this expat is over. Of course this often happens in the life of the project, personnel come and go but the work continues. This too is part of ‘normal activities’; and what an honour it has been to be a part of them.