Wish for Africa Foundation


Friday, 15 May 2009

Watts' log Lagos date Thursday 14h May

Another very hot day in Lagos! The day started early as I had a call from reception to say my lift was ready….I wasn’t and it seemed that the fact that yesterdays early start was a one off got lost in translation! I hear you cry, they speak English. Well that’s true to a point, but many jump from English to Yoruba or more Yoruba to English. I am amazed how people don’t understand me when I feel as if I’m clearly saying something. But then those that know me would probably agree that I can talk a load of rubbish that is incomprehensible most of the time! (Thought I’d say it before you commented!)

When I did get up and go ‘over the road’ to the medical centre, Funmi the women who had the section yesterday had received her blood results back and her Hb was low (it’s all about red blood cell, and whether you need iron or even blood). Hers were too low and she needed a blood transfusion, which was sent off for and arrived within an hour or so. Once this had gone through Funmi appeared much better and was even sitting up.

We were still unsure if the blood loss was more due to drugs not being what they allege to be or at the dose it claims to be. This seems amazing that reputable sources can still sell you drugs that aren’t what it says they are. Someone somewhere is making money and potentially playing with people’s lives. How do you resolve this? I don’t know the answer but the more I see the more I realise, change isn’t about to happen over night. But on a positive note many people do see and acknowledge the need for change and are doing something about it. Nigerians that left are now coming back with enthusiasm and gained knowledge and I truly believe that this can and will be a great nation.

One of my concerns was that the baby still hadn’t fed properly, I tried for about 30mins or more to help latch the baby on to the breast. Funmi was getting impatient and wanted to just give it sugar water again. I tried to express my concerns to the nurses but they didn’t seem troubled. The baby was very lethargic, which is not a good sign, I stressed to them that I wanted them to feed her with whatever they had, which apparently is not formula!

I spoke to Femi and he pointed out that many of these cultural things are hard to change, that they have always done these things and probably not had a problem before, so can’t see why they shouldn’t do it again. As a midwife coming from a country where everything needs to be evidence based. Therefore our maternal and neonatal death rate is relatively low, largely due to the quality of care and knowledge behind that care. This is the hardest part of being here I feel, that when I believe something needs to be done and could give good reason for my concerns, it appears that no one gets it. Femi did then stress to the nurses about the need to feed the baby and that if the baby is hypoglycaemic, it will be tired and that is not a good sign. As I left they were trying to feed it sugar water, hopefully as Funmi was sitting up and feeling better she will feel more up to feeding the baby herself.

After the another promise of internet tomorrow, yet another day has come and gone with out the use of it at my hotel, so still unable to skype home (sorry again Beth). This trip is teaching me patience in many ways from not having my promised internet to getting on it and then finding it runs at snail pace (I ate him yesterday and it still hasn’t speeded up!) or it just cuts off. But I was able to get onto Femi’s laptop and thankfully at last managed to post some photos albeit just on facebook and not on my blog (although I did try and I thought it said done?!?), they will arrive soon! Reducing the size arrears to help…that’s my tip of the day to all those who are as good with a computer as me!!

As I dodged across the road, (Femi is now trusting my judgement and appears not to need to hold my hand anymore) to catch my lift back to the hotel, you may be pleased to hear (those in the UK where it is not in the mid-upper 30’s) the sky was filling with black clouds. I haven’t heard any rain or storms yet, albeit very noisy in my room due to the air con unit. May be when the electricity cuts out (as it invariably does) and the air con goes off with it and silence prevails I might hear it, or it may have passed over and headed for the UK! : )


  1. So you resized the pics then :) nice one, good to see some pics :) hope your ok x x

  2. Jo this is so exciting, Dunk and I have been so busy barely having a moment to comment but are reading when we can! praying for you and hoping this weekend won't be as lonely as you anticipate! really proud of you and lovin' your blog. love you. we had a superb time with T and B yesterday for dinner, beth is so fine! and tony too. xxxxxxxxxxx Kate

  3. Jo we're so proud of you and what you're doing out there. Your blog is fascinating and we pray that you continue to persevere in educating the local midwives etc... on the appropriate techniques. We pray too that you will you won't be alone this weekend.
    Kevin & Paula