Week 2 Bangladesh

At the end of another week here at Malumghat (remember, Thursday is Friday here, Friday is Sunday, and Saturday is still Saturday), we find ourselves settling in a bit more, and gradually becoming more involved in the daily workings of the hospital and becoming more familiar with the culture.

Rachel has also been involved in her first few fistula repairs, which has been exciting for her to begin to learn the surgical techniques. One of the women with a fistula is 25 years old, with a very sad but very typical story. She married young, in her mid-teens like so many girls here, and then had three babies in a row—all stillborn. (If you don’t recall the details on fistulas, see the “Shalwar” blog from a month ago.) There is a program here called Engender which is trying to raise awareness of fistulas in the community, and also fund surgical repairs. Most women, as they have become social outcasts, cannot pay for the surgery themselves. The surgery we performed for her went OK, but she had a complicated fistula and we were unable to repair it fully. Please pray for her, for complete healing and also for openness to spiritual healing as well.

On a happier note, Rachel has delivered a few Bangladeshi babies via C-section, which is always fun! The first one was a “giant” by Bengali standards—almost 8 lbs. To put this in perspective, the average baby comes out around 5-6lbs, and we have some almost term babies in the hospital right now that weigh 3 lbs.

Eric’s been busy at the inpatient and outpatient departments, trying to learn to care for a whole smattering of diseases not seen at home, with a whole smattering of tools also not usually seen at home. Cerebral malaria, pulmonary tuberculosis, viper bites, rickets, all manner of worms, cholera (he now washes his hands obsessively), and organophosphate poisoning from rice pesticides that currently has landed a 3 year old boy with a tube down his throat, getting oxygen through a bag pump operated 24/7 by his family members. Needless to say, there’s a lot to learn.

Busy week, but a few quiet moments find their way in, when the rain is pouring onto our sheet metal roof and we think “We’re in Bangladesh!” and smile.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see that you are geting to do your surgeries Rachel. 8# ?? How big do they grow up to be on an average??