The eastern part of this country is famous for its mineral resources especially gold and that is why everyone wants to control this region including some of its greedy neighbors. 15Km from Lulimba where I am now is a town named Misisi. It’s a gold mining town. Up to now I don’t have the chance of visiting there as I was quite busy since arrival with quite a lot of major interventions left from previous colleague and some urgent interventions in the last two weeks, including quite a few coming from Misisi. Mine accidents are common there, as people just rush in and take the chance to see if they have the luck in finding gold. So they use very primitive methods and take all the risks of going into mine pits and tunnels.
In doing so, we receive patients with injuries from falling rocks, deep cuts by machineries, not to mention those gunshot woundscaused when they are fighting each other for whatever reasons. With all the dreams and nightmares, usually it would be accompanied by alcohol and prostitution. So sexually transmitted disease is another major problem that we need to look into and take care of, especially the surveillance and control of HIV.
These all look like the old wild wild west in America hundreds of years ago. Sadly all these happen in modern times when developed countries are concerning so much about industrial safety and human rights but people here still need to live in the condition of “survival of the fittest” situation.
In the coming weeks I am going to give trainings to nurses from Misisi and teach them about the theory in wound care. Our staff here will show them how to do it properly. Similarly I am here to train the local doctors in surgical theory and skills and wish they can be up to a standard when they can handle most of the common acute surgical diseases themselves rather than depending on the incoming expatriate MSF surgeons all the time. And this is one of the major objectives of MSF’s work here, to teach them to help themselves and I do wish they do learn much from us.