Dr. Olivia Kituuka is the Head of the Department of Surgery at the Mulago National Referral Hospital. As the Essential Surgical Skills Coordinator with Makerere University’s College of Health Sciences’ undergraduate and postgraduate medical programs, medical director of Doctors for Africa, and partner with the Canadian Network for International Surgery, Dr. Kituuka is one busy woman. Her effervescent charm, eloquence, and passion for supporting the training and retention of surgical specialists in East Africa has made her one of my biggest role models in Kampala. With her non-existent spare time, we had an inspiring chat about her role at Mulago, her time at McMaster with the International Outreach Program (where she worked in hepatobiliary surgery with Dr. Michael Marcaccio and colleagues at the Juravinski Hospital), and the biggest challenges in promoting international surgical access.
Gynecology has always felt like the younger, forgotten-about sibling to obstetrics. So often, obs/gyn electives focus on the “obs,” with exciting delivery stories, pregnancy dominating charts and exams, and maternal-fetal complications striking fear into the hearts of attending staff. It was, therefore, a much-needed perspective to spend a week in Mulago’s Emergency Gynecology Ward 5AA. Continue reading “Day 22: Reflections from Emergency Gyne Ward 5AA”
Dr. Sarah Nakubulwa is an obstetrician/gynecologist based at Mulago National Referral Hospital and teacher at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences. Dr. Nakubulwa’s dedication to women’s health in Kampala is far-reaching (she also completed a five month elective at McMaster University during her residency), but I must say I appreciate her on a much more personal level due to her dedication to teaching. Known as “Dr. Sarah,” she volunteered to be my supervisor for this elective, despite it being her holiday break! Continue reading “Day 18: Six Questions for Dr. Sarah Nakubulwa (obstetrician/gynecologist)”
I signed up for this elective alone and overconfident, armed with enthusiastic theoretical knowledge and pathetic practical skills. In hindsight, this is a great example of my bravado and stupidity, two qualities that one hopes never to find in a (future) physician. Thankfully, these personality traits have been appropriately humbled by the past week’s experience in New Mulago Hospital’s High-Risk Obstetrics (OB) Ward 5C.
“Uganda. Cool. Where is that? [Africa] Oh boy, like Lion King!”
The modern-day satirical gem of Broadway musical theatre The Book of Mormon is a personal favourite of mine. South Park writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone did impressive research on the history and complexities of the United States Mormon religion, and made millions of dollars off the hysterical adventures of two Mormon elders on mission in a small rural Ugandan community. Where Parker and Stone failed dramatically, unbeknownst to most of their happy audiences, was with their woefully inaccurate depictions of Ugandan society and health . Continue reading “Day 9: What I’ve Learned About the Ugandan Healthcare System”
“Sindika! Sindika nyo, sindika NYO! Ssa, ssa, ng’olabye, sister.”
After a short week in the labour ward, these Lugandan phrases (the major Bantu language of Kampala region) became second nature. A small attempt to find purpose when entering the lives of women coming through Old Mulago’s Low-Risk Obstetrics (OB) Ward 14.
“Push! Push hard, push HARD! Breathe, breathe, I’m sorry this is so difficult, sister.”
Dr. Musa Kasadhakawo Waiswa is the Head of Hematology in the Dept. of Medicine at Mulago Hospital, in addition to numerous roles as Medical Officer Special Grade/Honorary Lecturer at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda and Coordinator of the McMaster-Makerere International Outreach Program (IOP). Dr. Waiswa was the first physician in Uganda I connected with, as he was the first contact for Dr. Peter Kagoma (hematologist and VP Academic Affairs of the Niagara Health System) when I expressed my interest in going to Mulago for a medical elective. Continue reading “Day 6: Six Questions for Dr. Musa Waiswa (hematologist)”