Day 5: Dakar

Day 5: Dakar

Today is our last full day of surgery. Tomorrow, our host Dr. Seringe Gueye, arranged a symposium of lectures that would be shared between faculty from the three teaching hospitals in Dakar and our team. I have not given many details about our hosts, but they are all extraordinarily kind and helpful. They truly watch over us during the time we are there. Another remarkable trait is that they truly enjoy giving you whatever they have. And by American standards, they have very little.

Dr. Gueye is the chief of Urology and a formidable man. Dr. Mohamed Jalloh is a soft-spoken young man with a philosophical sense of humor who has a significant interest in pediatric urology and has assumed much of the day-to-day details of coordinating the workshop. The other three faculty and most of the residents all participated in the workshop and performed well.

Our child with bladder exstrophy underwent repair which lasted about 6 hours. He did great. I got to coach Mohamed and Janelle Fox through the case. On rounds, all the kids looked fine. We leave them pain medicine and antibiotics to get them through the night until we make rounds in the morning. We left the hospital around 8 p.m.; everyone was tired.

We will sadly need to begin to pack up our instruments tomorrow. We leave all the extra supplies, which are three bins worth. Sutures, catheters, bandaging materials, medicine, and more will allow the Senegalese surgeons to continue performing the procedures we instructed them on since most of these supplies are hard to come by. Many of the disposable supplies we leave behind are recycled and used over again many times. It is not surprising to find disposable laparoscopic instruments, for example, that still have life left in them re-sterilized and packaged. In our OR at Children’s, we routinely throw away supplies that are opened and unused. I think our OR staff would be shocked by how barren the shelves are in this hospital.

I will need to squirrel away supplies for my extended trip to Ghana after the rest of the team heads back to the United States. There, I am revisiting an old IVU workshop site in Kumasi that has renewed interest in further training.

Fran Schneck, MD