Thank you…

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I want to say thank you to everyone who’s been praying for me and everyone who helped get me here. I sometimes still cannot believe I’m here and wonder how it all happened! It is such a comfort to know there are people thinking and praying for me. Knowing that not only encourages me but helps me feel a little less lonely. I am starting to REALLY miss everyone and wish I could share lunch or a cup of coffee with one of you!

I went to Abuja last week, a pretty developed city here in Nigeria, and visited DIFF Hospital. DIFF specializes in IVF (in-vitro fertilization) therapies and thus has lots of multiple pregnancies and preterm deliveries. So they also have a NICU with more equipment than the one here in Benin City. I went to see the hospital to have something to compare Faith Mediplex to and kind of as a way of seeing what’s possible in healthcare in Africa. I was impressed with what they had in the NICU at DIFF but also with what they were able to do without. They had incubators and bilirubin lights but no ventilators or monitors. They also had one nurse to 5-9 patients!

It was nice to see a new place and get a different perspective. I had a little bit of culture shock driving into Abuja, though, because there are large paved roads and highways with traffic lights and clear traffic lanes. I felt a little bit like I was back in the US and I was a little overwhelmed, to be honest.

I was glad to get back to Benin City on Saturday; back to some familiar people and places. Although I have been pretty discouraged this week at the hospital. There is so much about the way we care for patients there that I wish was different. I also wish I knew more about the normal labor process so that I could talk more with the midwives about how care could be different and the rationale behind potential changes. I’m still learning some basic skills specific to labor and delivery and still proving to the midwives the skills I feel confident in – like checking fetal heart tones and starting IV lines. I get really frustrated at the way I see the women treated and wish I could do more to change it.

One idea I have is to do a patient satisfaction survey for the women in antenatal and intrapartum care at Faith Mediplex. That way, it would be the voices of the women who could point out the strengths and weaknesses of the system instead of me or someone else coming in and pointing a finger. Please pray for me on this as I try to form a survey and figure out a way to introduce it to the hospital administration and staff.

Thanks again to everyone who is praying for me – I am so grateful!

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