Just as we were thinking our heater was a big problem, we entered the ward while the nurses were resuscitating a new born that was being kept warm by the heater we’d just placed in! It was amazing to see that little bundle start breathing after laying on the table for 10 minutes without moving whatsoever. With the little resources they have available, the staff sure can work some magic sometimes. I was able to talk to a nurse volunteering from the UK who had been assisting in the labor ward the past few weeks. She received a lot of wide eyed gasps from me as she described the general procedures of giving birth at the hospital. The thought of giving birth to a child is alarming/scary enough, the “primitive conditions,” as she said, here are interesting to see, but it’s just how it is and since the services provided by the hospital for giving birth is free, there’s not much that can change I don’t think.
After lunch, Soren went to the lab to check on the status of a machine they want fixed so I went to… the newborn room of course! I talked to the main nurse about which pieces of equipment she uses and needs most often and it was quite evident that I wanted to work on their broken oxygen concentrator next. Yesterday, there had only been about 5 babies in the room, but today there was probably around 20. There were 3 babies hooked up to oxygen concentrators and she said she had been toggling between babies since there wasn’t enough to go around at once. I found Soren and he carried it back to our little “work station” aka a bench outside to look at (they are so heavy!). Luckily it was an easy fix just fixing and cleaning the tubing along with cleaning out the filter as best we could because it was all preventing air flow. It was the greatest feeling returning it working just fine that day, knowing it will be used immediately. I’m still thinking hard about what I’d like to do for my secondary project but I haven’t put my finger on anything just yet!