Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just Another Thursday In Juba

We started the day off in a meeting with a group supporting the training of nurses, midwives, and midlevels. It's great to think that we could have a bigger role in training obstetrics providers in a country with such a bad maternal mortality rate (it's said that women in South Sudan have a greater chance of dying in childbirth than finishing school).

Briefly stepped into the hospital to check in on things on the emergency ward, and a man that has been in diabetic ketoacidosis was looking much worse. He had probably aspirated oral or stomach contents into his lungs at some point, and he was now struggling to breathe, with an oxygen saturation of only 70%, and no ventilator machine available to help him breathe. Unfortunately, the odds are against him. I've never seen someone die due to DKA in the States. Here, I'm kind of surprised when they don't.

We then went to a meeting with the US Embassy security specialist to get an update on the situation in Juba. He continued to stress that things in Juba remain safe, that the occasional violence is far away on the border, but that we would be in close contact regarding updates.

We got a little sag paneer leftovers in us and headed over to the UN to play some ultimate frisbee. I pretty much played like I'd never held a disc in my life. But the worst part was that I let it really upset me instead of just laughing it off. It was kind of embarrassing. Maybe I need to get out of Juba for a bit?

Green Garden served up a delicious Ethiopian dinner, as is frequently the case. Ahh, veggie mixed dish does hit the spot. Thursday is, of course, Salsa Night at Central Pub, and we had a fun time chatting with the local expats: Brits, French, Dutch, Panamanians, Ethiopians, and a nice Spanish-speaking Swedish girl who had 10 year long dreads and looked like she was straight out of Hopmonk in Sebastopol.

Tomorrow we'll be doing bedside teaching rounds at the hospital, and hopefully I'll have a chance to show my friend Smiley around. He's an amazing photographer for the Houston Chronicle that has been documenting the great work Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have been doing with pediatric AIDS in Africa. I'm glad he had a chance to stop off in Juba while he was touring East Africa.


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