Team Member 2007

Jambo from Tanzania. Today (Wed.) was another remarkable day in Arusha. Dr. Mukule was able to coerce many of the physicians and nurses from Mt. Meru hospital to join us for a morning lecture at 8AM (I think he even made his family come so it would be well attended) and then we were of to our respective clinics. A group returned to Upone to see a large volume of patients, others attended the HIV clinic at Mt. Meru and I am told that Mickey completed the 2007 shelving project.

For me, it was personally a very moving and extraordinary day; with much improvisation and creativity, we were able to do the first three endoscopies at Mt. Merus hospital. Dr. Shriner had told us that each of us would have a moment when we would be brought to tears during our stay here. For me (although I am sure it will not be the last time for tears) it was as I was about to start our first endoscopy. A flood of emotions overcame me – both the joy that this part of the 2007 project had come to fruition and the profound sorrow that I felt for my patient. Seeing the condition of so many of the patients on the medical ward and thinking about what their future holds is very difficult. And the impact of it overwhelmed me as I was about to start the procedure on someone who I know will be dead soon because he is in Tanzania and not in the U.S. If the camera had not been filming or the patient looking to me for reassurance, I would have burst into tears.

My hope is that with time, and with some of the help The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania project is bringing, the health care future for these extraordinary Tanzanians, will continue to improve.

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