Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hospitals in Morocco

As the days leading to my departure to Morocco decreased, my parents anxiety increased tenfold. They wondered, how would I take to the food? How would I take to the weather? What if I got sick? Would I receive proper treatment while in Morocco? We often hear horror stories about the hospitals in other countries such as women giving birth in unsanitary conditions due to the lack of rooms, equipment, and trained professionals. Or patients dying on the operation table due to a shortage in specialized doctors. Given these stereotypes, I found my experience at Ibn Sina Hospital in Raabat, Morocco to be quite different than I expected. The hospital, although bland and simple, is efficient in the treatment of its patients. Many African countries including Morocco need more specialists, but their creative solutions to the problem can provide valuable lessons for hospitals in the United States. Ibn Sina Hospital is able to quickly teach junior staff to carry out simple surgeries which would require years of training in the U.S. Kariima, an assistant nurse in the general surgery department, has been trained in three years to carry out cataract operations. In the United States, ophthalmologists would have to train for nine years before they could do the same surgery. Kariima, a native Moroccan who received her training in London, decided to return to Morocco despite several job offers in Britain. When I asked her why, she replied that being in Morocco allowed her the oppurtunity to work in challenging situations that tested her medical training and forced her to make the most use of her resources. Although Kariima hopes to return to London one day to continue her education to become an opthalmologist, she firmly believes in giving back to her country.

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