Site Visit Day 7-8 (Sunday-Monday) -- Took a restful Sunday, pretty well recovered from medical distress that made for sharp Friday. Walked about five miles around Addis, drinks with leader in Addis Ababa Cycling Federation, Dr. Telaye Wube. Did a good bit of writing and reading, picking-up Abraham Verghase's Cutting for Stone, recommended by EHN board member. Verghase's novel tells of romance and graphic detail of (some extraordinary) medical work at an Addis Ababa missionary hospital, during the early years of Emperor Haile Selassie. Gripping and apropos, intellectually large.
Similarly peaceful if routine Monday, with morning and afternoon case study work at LeAlem. A number of compelling stories captured, images below.
I'm increasingly impressed by the business model we've set for EHN/LeAlem. Here's a clip from my current draft: "LeAlem is performing work efficiently. Several notable factors and measures contribute to this finding, including: The clinic is an established, ongoing commercial operation that is not dependent upon charitable funding for successful performance; economic efficiencies that support successful commercial performance carryover to charitable activity supported by EHN; [and] costs for non-profit, charitable patient care is the same or less than costs for commercial activity. (E.g., some commercial patients request/demand additional tests that are not provided to charitable patients, where medical staff deem these tests non-essential.)" So, it seems we're on the right track.
On another interesting contextual note, the African Union 2010 Summit begins later this week, so the hotel is filled with an extraordinary range of diplomats and interest groups. Adds a definite class and mystique. It's pretty cool to sit in the hotel bar and absorb the culture, watching African soccer championships on big screen, sipping beer or such.
Also today, had a bit of a medical "Whoops!" I'm trained as an Emergency Medical Technician, and I've seen pretty much, from ER/ICU/brain surgery, to nasty bone, blood and shock trauma. I'm trained in scene safety and personal protection. But Africa is different. I probably need to assume many things are contagious, more than I'm used to. Today a very appealing child came in, and I lifted him high in my arms, offering comfort. Well, the little guy was recovering from Typhus, which is fatal (if untreated) 10-60% of the time. The translation was uneven, so I heard Typhoid, for which I'm inoculated. On return to hotel I read about Typhus. I quickly re-upped my Purell (alcohol gel) scrub and hopped in the tub for a thorough wash; I'm already on Cipro ... Well, it's to learn. This trip is definitely stretching my envelope.
LeAlem 2010 Picture Library