Morning visits for radiology services at Kaseye Community Hospital are usually not very dense; more people show up in the afternoon. This was different on November 28, 2019. Suddenly, in mid-morning, there were more than a dozen people gathering in front of the x-ray room, waiting for a diagnostic image assessment. It turned out that these were all passengers in a bus from Chitipa to Karonga that suddenly went off the road and turned over. The injured passengers were taken back to Chitipa, where they were checked at the District Hospital. In order to provide a reliable diagnosis of possible bone fractures, patients were referred to the x-ray department of Chitipa District Hospital. The only problem was that the hospital’s x-ray machine had broken down due to overvoltage as a result of the daily rotating power blackouts. So, the only choice was to send the patients to Kaseye Community Hospital, about a 40-minute drive away, where the system has been working continuously because we installed a surge protector to safeguard the x-ray equipment from over- and under-voltages. It was a very rewarding experience to provide essential x-ray services for all these patients involved in the bus accident.
In the spring of 2019, a team of Interplast Germany visited Malawi and did surgeries for two weeks at Chitipa District Hospital because the operating facility at Kaseye Community Hospital was not yet finished. They also brought along a dentist, who was fully equipped with a travel set of the necessary dental tools. After the word got out that a dentist was at the hospital, the lines in front of the dental treatment room got longer and longer every day.
One of the patients who showed up on day 3 had severe pain in the area of the lower left jaw. Asked what the problem was, he explained that he had a tooth ache a couple of years ago, and they pulled the tooth at the dental clinic in the neighboring district hospital because this is their preferred way of solving problems, thus avoiding fillings or root canals. Until a few weeks ago, things were ok, but then pain increased and he went back to the dental clinic of the district hospital. The diagnosis was that a piece of the root was left in the jaw, and this was creating the problem. There was nothing they could do, and he was instructed to travel to the next larger hospital, about 5 hours away, where they could hopefully take care of the problem.
The visiting dentist looked at the issue, provided a local anesthesia and cleaned out the jaw. The patient was happily going home after the successful procedure.