Christal writes from Nigeria

The following is an email of Christal’s experiences volunteering in Nigeria. Christal is an OB/Gyn doctor here in Yreka, volunteering in the country of Nigeria this month with her husband Mike.

Hello to everyone!!!!!  We have been here and working now for 1 1/2 weeks. It’s a lot easier after being here previously. There are 2 residents that I knew from before, but everyone else is new.  The new Medical Director Dr. Joseph is a Nigerian Family practice doctor, who is young, very nice, very organized, and is a good teacher to the residents. There are 6 residents. Each week I have a different resident assigned to work with me my shadow we see all the patients together, do all procedures together and I am teaching them surgical skills as well as the usual OB/Gyn pearls. I am giving lectures to the medical staff twice a week. On clinic days I have seen up to 39 patients in 1 day, with 6 procedures that same day as well. Surgery days I have been in the OR until  7:30 pm but today was easier, because 1 woman who was scheduled for a TVH had sky-high blood pressure, so it is delayed until her bp is better. I have done surgery for cervical cancer, fibroids, prolapse and infertility. 4-5 surgeries on each surgery day. The surgeries go very slowly with me training the residents probably twice as long as otherwise. The OR staff has learned a lot from the last time I was here they are anticipating my needs very well.  I hear that many of the patients that I treated for infertility last time have babies many with healthy twins the residents here delivered some, but many live far away and delivered elsewhere. It’s exciting to hear of good results.  I have seen many this time with infertility also yesterday I saw a couple  in the clinic who had been trying to conceive since 1999 after a cesarean section–only to find out that she had no uterus it must have been removed at the time of the cesarean section, as she had post operative bleeding and was taken back for a 2nd surgery, but they never told her she had a hysterectomy. She was not having periods, but had been given fertility drugs for years to try and conceive doesn’t work without a uterus!!!! I felt sad to tell them, but they were grateful to learn the truth. I have seen several menopausal woman who are still trying to be pregnant also. I pray for every patient who comes as God can work miracles. One of the patients who delivered after I was here last was an old menopausal woman so I just pray for everyone and let god do the work! My Nigerian friend, Oni is a 3rd year nursing student now, and will finish in November. I am enjoying visiting with her and the other staff and students who were here before. Last week there was a huge regional church conference with people from all over Nigeria ECWA- Evangelical Church Winning All We went to a 4 hour service on Sunday morning where we sat on the stage in front of probably 1,000-1,500 people. Many people spoke, but the main speaker gave a rousing sermon. There was a big street market during the conference and I found many gifts to share. It has been really hot it was 89 degrees in the house last night when we went to bed. The OR has Air Conditioning, so it was pleasant to be in surgery all day today!!!  Yesterday an Ophthalmologist from the Netherlands arrived, and is here for a week he is considering coming here full-time. He has worked in Nigeria and Tanzania previously. We are healthy, but last night I was wishing for a little cold weather!!!  We love you all and will write again soon. Love, Christal


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