Day 1

First day of official rounds/work today…A couple factoids about this place to get a feel for it.

There’s 1 ventilator…in ALL of Tanzania.

Theres no microbiology…no blood cultures.  Yes you read that right

Sometimes there’s just no water….in the whole hospital.

Theres 500 pediatric cancer diagnoses per year here, at least, with zero, zero pediatric oncologists.  For perspective on that for people who aren’t in our field, a robust program in the US sees about 150 new diagnoses per year, with about 8 trained oncologists on staff, and countless support staff.

These kids are tough kids.  They are really, really, really sick.  They have tumors eroding out of limbs and facial structures.  They have belly masses so big that they tip over when they try to stand up.  They have leukemia that’s invaded their eyes and blinded them.  It’s at least 80 degrees in the ward.  And still they smile at me and their parents are lovely.  Its pretty awesome to see.  The rounding team consists of multiple residents, a few general pediatricians, and two Muslim female interns who I accidentally tried to shake hands with (not kosher).  And there’s Sue and I.  I think I’m going to be giving some lectures to the pediatric residents over the time here; there’s 12-15 pediatric residents here at Muhimbili.

We had fried Tilapia fresh out of Lake Victoria for lunch today. Bony, but pretty good.

Erica has been a rockstar with the nurses.  But I’ll let her comment on that part.  Hope all is well back home!


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