Saturday, March 1, 2014
Today we had a visiting doctor from a company in the US that sells mostly used medical equipment at reduced rates to the developing world. Our hospital has benefitted from their equipment, and it was interesting having her see how the equipment is being used. Not all of it fits perfectly in our setting. Though in general it has been much more appropriate than many donations I've seen over the years at other hospitals. Well-intentioned American hospitals will often donate their unwanted, outdated machines to struggling hospitals in the developing world. The donors feel good about their generosity, and the receiving hospital uses it until it breaks (if it could ever be used in the first place) and then allows it to sit, derelict, on the hospital grounds for years like a wrecked ship. In contrast, last night, the surgeon operated in our theatre that her company helped outfit. Today, we had a delivery on their donated delivery bed, did an EKG with a machine from her shipment, and used our well-loved and oft utilized ultrasound machine donated by a separate group. These were all helpful, showing that smart, carefully selected donations can make a difference.