Adventures with AMREF Flying Doctors
The Calm Before the Storm – Part 2 Matt Edwards
Matt Edwards Blog working in remote medicine
About 1900 in a place called Kisii, close to Kisumu on Lake Victoria, an over laden bus full of about 70 teenagers attending a sporting event had crashed at high speed. There were about 8 dead at the scene including the teachers and 10 or so critically injured and the other 50 with an assortment of walking wounded. The local population had mobilised and were dragging the casualties to the local hospitals including to the larger nearby town of Kisumu. The pictures and footage at the scene depict what you would expect: people running about haphazardly carrying people in bedsheets, rushing off with them in the back of pick ups and taxis, a couple of local policemen completely overwhelmed and no sign of a fire service or any ambulances. Mass casualty disasters like that must be terrifying, especially if you know that no help is coming. When you know there will be no flashing lights, no big boys in uniform telling you what to do and no one to assess and triage the injured. As I slept peacefully, Kisii had turned to complete chaos.
As we waited at Wilson by our hanger it became busier and busier. Soon there was a massive crowd of news media, the Red Cross chaps, members of parliament and the Kenyan police. I thought it was a rather big turnout for just four patients. Then someone explained to me that nearly 20 injured patients were being airlifted because the President had declared a disaster. Therefore all the injured must come to the Government hospital in Nairobi.
About; AMREF’s vision is for lasting health change in Africa: communities with the knowledge, skills and means to maintain their good health and break the cycle of poor health and poverty. We believe in the inherent power within African communities – that the power for lasting transformation of Africa’s health lies within its communities.
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