This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS.
Three of the Pharmacy Interns at Mulago National Referral Hospital presented a patient case of Septicemia secondary to an infected Cesarean Section today at the Noon Conference. They did an excellent job. I had met with them to discuss the patient on Tuesday and already they had a nice start but they attentively listened to my suggestions and comments. I was really pleased that they incorporated them into the talk. In addition, these Interns had been actively engaged in helping the patient improve by providing Pharmaceutical Care. They worked with her physicians to get appropriate lab tests, namely a culture and sensitivity to help guide antimicrobial therapy, as well as helped in the decision process of what antibiotics to use at certain points of her care. Although the patient had quite a long stay in the hospital (30+ days), she did eventually heal and was discharged.
My Life in Kampala
As I mentioned before, I have a housemate during this stay in Uganda. I stay in the Visiting Scholar Villa, called Edge House, and since my last visit in March, it has been renovated to accommodate 2 visiting faculty. We share a kitchen and a bathroom but have separate, and adequately sized bedrooms. Monty is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in North Carolina, USA, and is here as a Fulbright Scholar to teach a couple courses in Makerere’s Biomedical Engineering Program. He arrived about a week before me but will stay the entire school year to mid-April. We’ve been getting along great and I am really enjoying his company. Last March when I was here by myself, it did get a bit lonely at times.
This time, not only am I a whole lot less lonely, but I’m also not having to make dinner since Monty has been doing the cooking. He walks to and from the Mulago Hospital campus, which is the site of the Biomedical Engineering Program and gets home before me most of the time. He often stops at a small grocery store to pick up the fixin’s for dinner which is usually some sort of beans or peas and rice to which he adds lots of vegetables. Yesterday he also picked up pieces of fried chicken. Last week he actually bought a whole chicken and stewed it on the stove with vegetables. It was really good! My job is the dishes, which I am truly glad to do – really, I have the easy job. This arrangement is pretty much the arrangement my husband and I have at home. We both can cook but he likes to do it better than me so he cooks and I do the dishes. If Monty isn’t around or has already eaten, I either make scrambled eggs and veggies or I eat Tuna mixed with a little mayonnaise. I also keep peanut butter and crackers around so I never go hungry. Since there was no kitchen table, when he first got here, Monty went out and bought a little plastic table and chairs set. This is where we eat. If it is not raining, we eat outside. When it’s raining, we bring it into the kitchen.
Clean water is something I never take for granted while in Uganda and instead I always make sure I have a ready supply. Edge House and most of Kampala, has running water pumped to the home but it should really just be used for washing and the toilet. You even need to use bottled water for brushing your teeth, to be on the safe side. What I’ve been told is that the water treatment facility produces really clean water, but the water pipes throughout the city contaminate the water. Most people purchase big water coolers for drinking and washing fruits and vegetables. I used to just get cases of smaller water bottles but now I just get this huge thing and it lasts me quite awhile and is much less expensive.