Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mulago Hospital

Our trip to Mulago Hospital, located in Kampala, was one of the most humbling experiences.  Mulago, being one of the largest governmental hospitals in East Africa, showed the desperations for a change in healthcare in the region.  To understand the hospital more we had a tour guide as well as a doctor with us explaining the functions of the hospital.  Since Mulago is a government hospital patients received free care for any type of medical need.  However, individuals who can afford it are given “private” rooms and are given basic amenities with each having a particular cost such as a curtain, water, food, electricity etc.  While going through the different wards we were able to see the overflow of patients and the lack of beds for them/room for family members.  On average each ward has 2 nurses for up to 70 patients at a time.  The lack of staff is due to the government’s unwillingness to give sufficient pay to its employees which is the source of the problems at Mulago.  A lot of this in hand gives way to corruption within the hospital and promotes a terrible environment to receive care.  The entire experience at Mulago made our group realize what some of us take for granted in a hospital and how fortunate we are.  It was extremely eye opening and gave me particularly a new perspective on life.    

6 comments:

  1. Although I was unable to attend this session, from what each of you had to say made the experience seem gut wrenching. What I hated the most was the ratio of patients to nurses. Nurses should not have to have that much stress at one time and patients should not have to continue with their issues for so long and with little care in the end. I think it is important for each of us to spread the word of these issues to promote awareness for the problems as well as appreciation for our own heath facilities.

    Great article/summary.

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  2. Alex- I loved hearing about your experience at Mulago, and am disappointed that we all didn't get to experience it with you. You mentioned that the people who were able to pay could get a "private" room, were these patients given better care than the ones who could not afford to pay? health care is extremely important for everyone and it is vital that the hospital makes a change to become more sanitary to help prevent the spread of disease and infection to all of their patients. It is great that the visit had such a huge impact on all of the students who were able to go!

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  3. In Mulago, it is clear that a patient's ability to pay has a significant effect on the care they receive in the hospital. However, does ability to pay also have an effect on the type of treatment we receive in the U.S.?

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  4. Although I did not attend, I was similarly concerned for the well-being of those at the hospital and saw the need for improvement.With such understaffing, health practitioners cannot adequately do their jobs. Jessica also said that she saw some pretty appalling stuff that can be easily remedied with better funding and knowledge. First off, a cleaning staff is needed to make conditions more sanitary and remove bloodstains from the floor. In addition, nurses seemed unaware that they should change gloves while dealing with different patients and chemicals to prevent cross-contamination.

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  5. And Drew, I believe I heard someone who went to the hospital say that those who cannot pay simply do not and the hospital will never deny care. Those who can pay do, but I doubt that they receive significant profit, if any at all.

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  6. I would also agree with everyone else in saying that this is a problem that we need to address. In both what all of the students that attended have said and my discussion with one of the MUBS students, there is an apparent lack of quality and quantity of care that leads to many problems. As Morgan said, it is important to spread the message of what is going on. I mean for recently born infants and their mothers to be waiting outside to be discharged, no matter the weather, is just one of the startling differences between the Ugandan health system and our own. It makes me grateful that I can go and trust the care I get at any time.

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