Today started just like any other day. Calls to early morning prayers blared from speakers across Hargeisa city, soon people started getting into the hustle and bustle of the day.
My first stop at Hargeisa Group Hospital was at the bed of one fistula patient, Aisha*. As I neared the bed, I spotted the small plastic basin with vomit. She has had this vomiting for the past few days, but is not showing any other surgical problems that would worry us. Hopefully, she’ll be out of the ward and back to Mogadishu in the next week or so.
Dr Essam, our Medical Coordinator prescribed a new treatment regime and intra-venous fluids, which were fixed on her immediately. She says she only wants cold juice, water and some fruit. We arrange to get her the stuff.As I checked in at theatre, I was told there were only two patients for surgery. One with an infibulation cyst (this comes about following Female genital mutilation) and another patient with uterine fibroids, for Mymectomy (removal of the fibroids, while preserving the uterus).
The surgeries were fast, and within two hours, it seemed the business of the day would be over.
As we mused on our next move, I noticed there was a commotion outside. I was soon to realize the President of Somaliland , HE President Ahmed M. Mahamoud Silanyo was on a familiarization tour of the hospital. Within no time, he was ushered into the theatre, and was briefed on the goings-on of the operating theatre. He went ahead to tour other wards and departments within the hospital. His security detail was elaborate, what with hand-held rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns mounted on a truck! It was a scene to behold for the patients, and by the time he left, many had a smile on their faces! The visit had improved their sense of well-being. At least they got the opportunity to see their president!
*Patient names have been changed to protect privacy
Eric Otieno is an anesthesist working with WAHA in Somaliland. Click here to find out more about Eric.