Report by Francesc Marsal: St Vincent’s Hospital, Aliade. Nigeria. Spanish Team
Last 26th November 2011 we left from Barcelona airport to our destination in Nigeria.
The whole team met up at Heathrow Airport. We took 14 boxes each weighing 23 kilos. The boxes contained surgical material and presents for the local people. In Barcelona, British Airways helped us a lot with the customs issues and didn’t charge any extra weight.
We arrived at Abuja International Airport at 05:35 on the 27th where Dr Austin Ella was waiting for us. The procedure through customs was long but fairly agile. We then loaded the boxes and our luggage into a Toyota pick-up and a mini-bus and set off. After a 6-hour trip with many police controls, we arrived safety at St Vincent´s Hospital in Aliade.
We were received by the local team, headed by Peter. We met the Sisters of Nativity (Sister Helen and Sister Rose) and we were welcomed by the performance of a welcome tribal dance by the local residents. That afternoon the team set to work to prepare the theatres for the operations the next day.
We had brought new bulbs for the theatre lamps and two new boxes of surgical material for hernia repair. We had also brought a two new pulse oximeter which they didn’t have. We started to operate at 07:00 every morning after a good breakfast prepared by Sister Rose.
For 5 days the Spanish team of 5 surgeons and 2 nurses, together with the local team operated on 78 patients with 110 procedures.
The results were very satisfactory and for the first time ever we used “mosquito mesh” (59 cases). Friday was the hardest day when we operated on 24 patients. In all we experienced complex cases (14 bilateral hernia) and 9 large hydrocele. We used loco-regional anaesthesia in 57 cases, and the rest cases with local anaesthesia.
When we lefts Aliade on 3th December we felt very satisfied with our work and the friends we had made.
The team members were: Enrique Navarrete, Maria del Pilar Consejo, Juan Manuel Moreno, Francesc Marsal, Riverola Aso, Blanco Rodriguez, Arantave Caravaca, Candeal Haro.