As part of a partnership with Mwandi Mission Hospital, I will be joining an interdisciplinary group of Internal Medicine, General Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology doctors who travel to Zambia to provide medical and surgical care to patients at the partner hospital. This trip is part of an ongoing partnership with the Mwandi Mission Hospital and the missions are organized on a recurrent bi-annual basis. As an ObGyn resident, I will be providing women's health care including screenings for cervical cancer and surgical treatment for benign Gyn diseases, and any other Women's Health Care treatment needs as identified by the local partner organization.
Patients served by Mwandi Mission Hospital will be the population served. Patients are identified for care by the local organization who determines the needs of the population based on their needs assessment and specific hospital protocols.
With this mission, not only will I help provided medical and surgical care to a patient population in need, but I will also gain a partnership with a local organization that I hope to continue in future years. Given the ongoing nature of the mission's partnership, I hope that the knowledge of the hospital's functionality, of the local culture, and the surgical skills that I gain can be applied to future missions. Furthermore, I hope to continue global health work as part of my career as an ObGyn attending, so the knowledge and expertise I gain from this trip will provide lifelong benefits.
A team of 10 multidisciplinary volunteers (2 aneshtesiologist, a hospitalist, a general surgeon, an ENT, a plastic surgeon, an ObGyn, a general surgery resident, a college volunteer and myself (an ObGyn resident) with the collaboration of numerous local workers and volunteers including nursing staff, hospital physician, and OR staff worked at Mwandi Mission Hospital to triage over 300 patients and perform over 80 procedures for the patients of Mwandi Zambia. Although the hospital is located in the Southwest corner of Zambia, patients traveled from all over the country to seek surgical care with our team. Most commonly, patients suffered from large thyroid goiters, hernias, fibroid uterus and burn contractures needing surgical management that would otherwise be challenging or impossible for them to access. Thanks to the 20 year collaboration betwen the surgical team and the on-the-ground staff, the team was able to efficiently care for a large number of patients using the limited resources and time. Although there were more patients than we could care for during this two week mission trip, the team returns twice a year to Mission Hospital to provide ongoing care for patients and will return in September to continue this ongoing work.