June 2017


June 2017

June 27th – EDPA

To be honest I don’t know where to start… we have just spent the last two days at EDPA clinic, the only way to describe my initial feelings is shocked.

EDPA is a private healthcare clinic but is nowhere near anything you would expect from private care at home in the UK.

On walking into the clinic the first thing that crossed my mind was how different the approach was in regards to infection control. The wards were far from the standard of clean expected in the UK, with dusty curtains hanging in doorways that nurses would push trolleys through carrying medical equipment. The beds in the wards were touching, and there was no arrangement of infectious and non-infectious patients. There was a little girl in one bed, who the doctor had told us, had sepsis but also pneumonia, as we turned to the next bed space we were told that the patient had pneumonia, all we could think was, is that why?

The first day was difficult, we started off with the doctor on ward round, which was interesting and he was very willing to answer our questions, however we found it hard not to question the lack of confidentiality, patients would just be discussed over the top of other patients. The afternoon was spent with the nurses and we honestly felt like they didn’t want us there, Ella spent the afternoon doing nothing, despite offering her help lots. We are struggling with aspects of the culture, like how the nurses speak to people, back home it would just be considered rude. We went home close to tears.

The second day was so much better, we spent it in the labs with the lab technicians Mike, Sam and Oyet. They were amazing and we learnt so much, we had the opportunity to take blood, run tests and look at malaria parasites in blood under a microscope. They completely turned our negative experience around and we could not be more grateful.

The majority of the patients in the clinic were under five, despite this the clinic has wards for adults, so these wards were filled with children too.

Some of the practices felt very unsafe, nurses would attach drugs in syringes to cannulas and walk away. They use syringes repeatedly, unaware of what they had been used for before, saline flushes were also used on multiple patients. I understand the lack of resources here, but cross contamination of drugs can be dangerous. The use of syringes on patients with malaria and then patients with pneumonia makes me wonder if some of the illnesses could be avoided.

It’s made me feel saddened that we complain about the healthcare available to us in the UK. Our NHS is so much safer and more pleasant, the standard of care much better and yet we don’t appreciate it. If we need something, it’s there.

One little girl, perfectly healthy had just swallowed a coin, the doctor had told us that she wouldn’t safely pass it, but when we asked if she would be offered surgery he just shrugged.

I wish I could fix the unsafe practice here, but I think that we need to accept that all the change theory in the world won’t make a difference, and we just have to do what we can with the little time we have.

All this at a private clinic, I haven’t yet been to the hospital run by the government, I can’t imagine what it will be like there.