What to take to the hospital in Mwanza

Yesterday I visited a missionary lady, Janet,  from the UK who was passing through Mwanza on her way to another town.  She became sick and ended up being taken to the local hospital from her motel.

Her missionary  colleagues from another region contacted Lisa, our renter, and asked if she could assist Janet since she didn’t know anyone here in Mwanza.  I went with Lisa later in the evening to visit her.

The hospital rooms at the huge government hospital here in Mwanza are stark and far below the standards that those of us from developed nations are accustomed to.

We take for granted that certain things will be provided for us during our hospital stays.  The following things ARE NOT provided for you at our local hospital:

Toilet paper, drinking cup, water, food, mosquito net (yes, the screens have holes in them), towels and washcloths, soap, any kind of personal hygiene items or even those lovely hospital gowns.  A patient must have family prepare food for them or arrange to have food brought to them twice a day.

Janet was laying in a bed directly on the mattress with no bottom sheet because the one she had got soiled and had to be removed but it wasn’t replaced.  Visiting hours are from 4pm – 6pm; you can also bring food in the morning.  You may have one person stay with you at all times because they will need to care for your non-medical needs.  There are no “call buttons”.

So, as much as I dislike hospital stays in general, I am thankful I have never had a stay in one of our local hospitals.

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