Sunday, August 14, 2011

health care system in Senegal

Internship- day 2

On our 2nd day of the internship, professor Cheikh came to the hospital with us. He happened to find out that one of his childhood best friends was the head of the pharmacy department at the hospital Fann. Then, kindly, the friend introduced us the chief neurologist. The chief neurologist took the time to give us a mini tour around the hospital and answered some of our questions. He was so busy because the medical staffs were on strike. He was a military doctor so he wasn’t on strike. The hospital was short of the staff, resources and everything else. It was devastating to see the patients lined up outside of his office not knowing when they would be able to get the medical help they needed. Health care system in Africa is world-wide issue. I have always been interested in the matter and it was such an awesome opportunity to have been able to witness the reality.
The hospital Fann was cleaner than I expected. It had wards and ICU. They were aware of sanitization and trying to keep the hospital as clean as possible. Even though there certainly was room for improvement, I was glad to see some kind of system similiar to the western hospitals and intelligent and educated doctors.

the records of the patients

“Child mortality, maternal death, malaria and sexual diseases (incl. AIDS) are the main medical health problems in Senegal.”  

Some facts for Senegal:
  1. Malaria is the primary cause of morbidity (25%)
  2. Maternal death: 45 Of every 10000 women who give birth to a child die in urban areas - but nearly 100 die in rural regions
  3. The infant mortality rate is 58 per 1000, the child mortality rate is 113 per 1000 – but with significant disparities between the regions
  4. Malnutrition remains a public health issue: almost 1 out of 5 childs are underweight)
  5. Vaccination coverage against the main childhood diseases remains insufficient: Only 42% of all children between 12 and 23 months received all necessary vaccinations
  6. Limited or absence of access to safe water is increasing health problems in the rural regions of Senegal – affecting mainly children‘s health

The organisational structure of the national health care system in Senegal
  1. Regional Hospitals (Hospital/Clinic Provincale)
  2. District Health Centres (Centre de Santé)
  3. Health Posts (Poste de Santé)
  •  lack of adequate health service provision due to poor infrastructure of health facilities:
    • 1 Hospital per 545800 inhabitants. (WHO: 1/150000)
    • 1 Health Centre per 175000 inh. (WHO: 1/5000)
    • 1 Health Post per 11500 inh. (WHO: 1/1000)
  • lack of personal:
    • 1 medical doctor per 17000 inhabitants (WHO: 1/10000)
    • 1 Health Worker per 8700 inh. (WHO: 1/300)
    • 1 Birth Assistant per 4600 inh. (WHO: 1/300)
  • lack of training and education
  • lack of motivation of staff to work in rural regions

I included these facts because I experienced them; I had to take Malaria pill every week, Sehee - who is an amazing pharmacy student but who definately does not have any medical backgorund to deliver a baby- got to deliver a baby which tells us a lot about the maternal/baby care in Senegal, I saw many many hungry street kids and Sehee got to go to some houses to give out vaccination and it didn’t seem organized. We also had to buy and carry our own water bottles everywhere since it was difficult to find safe water around.
It was sad to find out that there are people who are suffering curable disease just because they don't have money.. as a person who is studying pharamcy this was a moment. i do not have a solid plan on how and what to do to help the needed but i felt like it was something that i should not ignore.


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