Teaching in Kigali

by Marcel

After a busy but fun weekend, we did our second “academic day” today: each Monday, all the residents come from various locations for a whole day of lectures and case discussions.

We started with morning report, where instructive cases that happened during the night are reviewed. The case discussed today was of a small child with a hand burned so badly that it needed to be amputated. Just terrible.

I followed with the second lecture in the neuroanesthesia block, with a great amount off discussion, which was wonderful! Then one of the residents did a case presentation – a case with a bad outcome, which again stimulated lots of discussion.

We then headed over to the hospital cafeteria to eat some lunch while we discussed the session we were going to run that afternoon in the simulation center with Damascene, one of the junior attendings.

In the cafeteria preparing the sim session
In the cafeteria preparing the sim session

The simulation session was fairly chaotic, but overall went well. Sean Runnels played the patient, and we have a neat software system running from a laptop that can create a patient monitor on a second screen with values we can change on the fly. One thing the residents are being taught is use of the Stanford crisis checklists for intraoperative emergencies – a system we just introduced at UVa a month or so ago.

Sean Runnels in trouble
Sean Runnels in trouble
Venous air embolism
Venous air embolism
Using the Stanford crisis checklist to direct the treatment
Using the Stanford crisis checklist to direct the treatment

After Sean had survived his venous air embolism and the group had been debriefed, Paul and I took a walk downtown, where we visited our friends Aparna and Gina at Rickshaw Travels to pick up Paul’s gorilla trekking permit.  The young couple that runs the Rickshaw travel agency has been immensely helpful to us and others over the years; they are strongly recommended in case anyone needs a travel agent in Rwanda!

After picking up the ticket, we met with Sean Runnels to discuss some Human Resources for Health issues over a Fanta, and then were picked up by Jessie Silver, the ICU nurse working in Butare. She was in Kigali because she  is leaving tonight for two weeks vacation back home in Charlottesville, and we wanted to get together before she took off. So we had a nice dinner at Heaven, one of the “white bubble” restaurants here (meaning that it is frequented by expats rather than by locals).

Dinner with Jessie at Heaven
Dinner with Jessie at Heaven

Then a walk back through nightly Nyamirambo – an indescribable experience: people everywhere milling about, ranging from hiphoppers to Muslims in long dresses, talk and laughter everywhere, music booming from all directions, shoes for sale on the sidewalk, taxis-moto, popcorn stands, minibus horns… Wonderful!

And now we’re back at the apartment, cup of tea, preparing stuff for journal club later in the week, and waiting for a skype call from home!


2 thoughts on “Teaching in Kigali”

  1. While sitting at a hospital conference table yesterday waiting impatiently for an Internet connection, Dr. Ed Nemergut, UVA ANES residency program director, made the comment that based on the frequency and length of electronic correspondence he receives from Rwanda, there must be very reliable, high-speed, network coverage throughout the entire country. That, in fact, has been a priority for the Rwandan government… can you comment?

  2. That, in fact, is correct. Most of the country has fiberoptic cable. We work with USB modems, and mobile phone coverage is available essentially in all of the country, so that you have internet access everywhere. It’s not the same speed everywhere, but there is 3.5 to 4G in the main sites. We pay about $7 for a week of unlimited internet.

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