Dr. Keith's Column
March 2015 (21/03/2015)
March 21st 2015
I am sitting in a club class seat, after an unanticipated upgrade at the airport for no charge, drinking champagne and chatting to a charming blond lawyer who worked for a well known UK company, She was accompanying a group of employees on a CSR trip to Uganda to see what their charitable money raised for Comic relief was doing, interestingly she was slightly embarrassed to be at the front of the plane, paid for by the company, when other members of the party were at the back. I began to reflect on what I have done since Christmas. In January, I had an excellent shooting trip to Scotland with good friends, staying at my mum’s house near Forfar then 5 days in the Algarve with my wife followed by a week’s skiing with a recently divorced lawyer friend in La Plagne. February began with a week’s deer stalking with family and friends on the beautiful Scottish Island of Islay. We had amazing weather, hard walking and fantastic shooting. Everyone including our 20/12 granddaughter Isla, in a back pack, was up the hill at one time or other. Her mother proving what a crack shot she was. It was then off to Portugal for another 3 days followed by a week attending, with 4 colleagues, the WACS (West African College of Surgeons) meeting in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire on behalf of Mercy Ships. Now on a flight to Entebbe to visit Hoima for a week during which I plan to see how things are going at HRRH (Hoima Regional referral Hospital – see website articles under Uganda), reconnect with 35 yr old Specioza who I had noticed with a mandibular tumour in a church choir last July. She had successful surgery at Corsu Hospital in Entebbe last October. I also plan to give lectures at the local school of nursing and a large secondary school where I may try and initiate a link with my old school in Scotland. Life after ‘ retirement’ does seem to fairly hectic at present!
December 2014 (31/12/2014)
Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year to all. I returned last week from nearly 3 weeks in Madagascar. One week on the Africa Mercy and a second week in the capital city Antananarivo where with 9 colleagues from the UK we ran a 3 day SAFE Obstetric Anaesthesia course. Went very well in spite of the absence of power. Six of us arrived home 48 hours late because of problems with Air France but that is another story! I will soon start writing 3 articles about my experiences which will be on this website within the next two weeks I hope. Three sad facts about the country : there are about 50,000 women with unrepaired vescio-vaginal fistula, there is no magnesium sulphate available to treat the many cases of Eclampsia, you do not count as being born until you are at least six months old – if you die before that age you are just buried with no ceremony and forgotten. We live in a sad World. But I feel hope after watching the Christmas video from the Africa Mercy in Tamatave on www.mercyships.org.uk
PS Do also listen to the remarkable series of BBC Reith lectures on radio 4 by Dr Atul Gawande the inventor of the WHO Safer Surgery checklist
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