Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Wards

      Tenwek hospital divides the inpatients into several wards including orthopedics, male surgical, female surgical, maternity, male medical, female medical, pediatrics, nursery, and a small ICU.  Each ward is one open room with about 20 beds. It has open windows thankfully for fresh air.  Afternoons for the ambulatory patients usually involves walking outside to 'bask' in the sun or attending a chapel service.
     Having that many sick patients all together becomes logistically difficult with privacy, finding charts, and preventing spread of contagious disease.  Active TB and pneumonia are common with so much immunsurpression.  Yet it also brings a community feel to being sick, hurting, and hopefully we pray healing together and going back home. Occasionally when I have an inpatient the patient in bed 9 always know where to find patient in bed 10 and will help me translate if he or she speaks english.  
     Their are just a few ventilators in the ICU.  The nursery has no ventilators or isolettes.  These life sustaining measures that are common elsewhere are ethically difficult in a third world setting.  No one wants to make a decision regarding with limited resources which patient can or can not receive these measures or furthermore who should remain or be removed.
     Patients bring family to help with laundry and eating.  Beans, rice, and chai are served for each meal and patients bring their own plates and utensils.  Cost as an inpatient is a daily rate of 500KSH per day--about 7 USD.   In-Patients are not allowed to leave until their bill is paid.  Many often sit far longer than needed in the wards waiting for the funds to pay their hospital bills.  Collecting funds can take time as it involves rallying your local tribe for help or waiting for your husband to sell a cow.   
     Occasionally all beds are taken and patients pair up with two to a bed.  I'm told this is better than 20 years previous.  At that time the only space available was under the bed.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, great post. I love the comparison I can then make to our hospital system in the US. Wonderful insight, wonderful service you and your family are giving.

Sara, thank you for the insights into your personal growth. It is so encouraging to me. I hope I can also be encouraging to you and your precious family.

Enjoy Grammie's visit and God Bless You All,
Bend, OR