Tuesday in Namibia: Surgeries at Katatura & Lectures at UNAM

I'm sitting here in Namibia working on patient files while watching the Olympics from Brazil on South African television. I'm feeling rather global at the moment -- and maybe a bit tired from a busy day.

Today was our first day of surgeries at Katatura Intermediate Hospital. We treated seven patients ranging in age from 6 to 47 years old with a range of procedures.

The hospital medical staff has been instrumental in keeping everything running smoothly throughout the day. I can imagine it's a challenge to quickly figure out how to work with new people, especially six new surgeons from two countries. Even with English as the primary language, there are communication challenges along the way with a variety of accents in the room. Protocols, terminology, and workstyles are always different -- which is a big part of what makes it interesting for the surgeons to learn from one another and share their skills across an operating table.

Several of us made our way to University of Namibia's School of Medicine campus for lectures and a meeting with Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the assistant vice chancellor of the medical school. There we talked about how the School of Medicine is growing -- from opening a couple of years ago to now having graduated students from both the medical and pharmacy schools. Just in the last year, the school has increased its student intake from 65 to 85 new students in the latest class group.

UNAM's Dr. Alex van der Horst expressed how much benefit our team has brought in just a short time, with our doctors both attending student presentations and delivering lectures.

Our team hopes to continue working with both the hospital and the medical school going forward. The facilities are very nice with beautiful architecture housing modern facilities, skills labs, and lecture halls. All this emphasizes the priority on educating more medical students to improve healthcare across Namibia.

Drs. Nyska and Olaff both delivered lectures at UNAM, covering some of their research and perspective in treating foot and ankle deformities and injuries. They were both very open to questions from the students and Namibian medical peers.

Today was a busy, but productive and satisfying today. We're looking forward to our second day in the operating rooms tomorrow. But tonight, we sleep. (And maybe catch some more of the Olympic competition...)


  1. Hi all, be safe and show Africa how we roll in the U.S.


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