Breast Course for Nurses: Windhoek, Namibia day 2

Dr Fynn
On the second day, I always spend less time teaching and local faculty take over.  The day started with Dr Fynn, a radiologist working at Katatura Hospital,  showing mammographic and US images.  There are 2 state hospitals in Windhoek: Katatura Hospital and Windhoek State Hospital.  Katatura is the admission hospital and Windhoek is the tertiary hospital. 

The library at Katatura Hospital
While Dr Fynn and Sr Lieske were running the course, I was lucky enough to visit Katatura Hospital.  There were a couple of things that struck me.  The first was how clean it was despite the fact it was very busy. The second was that it has a library for the nurses and medical students.  There are a number of hard copies of journals and books but the librarian informed me that the have internet access to ejournals on line.  I had a chat to a few of the 6th year medical students who are about to be the first graduates from the University of Namibia Medical school.  

Dr Abigail Mukendwa
Dr Abigail Mukendwa gave the lecture on the complications of breast cancer treatment.  It was the first lecture she has ever given: she did really well.  Thank you and congratulations.

Prof Celestine ran the session on palliative care. He has been in involved in the field for many years.   He noted the need for psychological, physical and spiritual harmony to live a complete life.  He defined spirituality, not as religion, but as the “connectivity between people that is not physical”.  

In his excellent talk, he said the difference between a good death as opposed bad death was being ready to die.  In order to help achieve that, it is imperative that health care workers communicate with the family.  Communication is talking less and listening more.  He reminded us that no amount of morphine will cure spiritual pain.

The last session of the day was on community projects and how to use the information learnt on the course to make a difference to women living in their communities.  The students broke up into small groups to come up with suggestions.  One of the biggest challenges is to get care to remote communities.  Do you advocate to get more access to care in the larger centres or do you aim to take care to the communities through the existing outreach programmes.

Well done to all the students.  We look forward to hearing about your projects.  Once again, thank you to University of Namibia Medical school, Namibian department of health and our corporate sponsors.

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