VTT arrived safe and sound travelling via Dubai and straight into Chennai! 5 of the 7 members team were upgraded to business class on the second leg from Dubai to Chennai; good omen! Of course this was a big thing for a couple of the members and for me!
We warmly welcomed by the local host, Rtn Daksha of the VTT partner club, RC Meenambakkam and PP Ajitha a member of another club. India has never had a VTT! This project has generated excitement and consequently, Rtn Daksha has been appointed District VTT Chair and Ajitha is a committee member. They’re planning to take teachers to Canada this Rotary year!
On Sunday 18 June:
we attended the District 3230 TRF training. Very interesting because we were literally case studies – ie in regards to club collections, district matches, Foundation contribution, etc! Presidents Elect were encouraged to dream up projects – there are many needs! As I write this, TV news media is reporting that Chennai City water reservoirs have just enough for 5 days! Good enough it has rained today!
We were celebs of sorts! RC Meenambakkam was congratulated for the VTT; they put in $2,100 and District 3230 contributed $3000 – an example of how little monies can still deliver a project and we were real examples!
19 June – Day One at hospital, Madras Medical Mission:
Our first session was with the Director of the hospital. It is just 30yrs old but has made vast progress in medicine and well known. Cardiology department has 5 theatres / labs and each averages 3 operations a day! Dr Rajan, head of cardiology said they receive many teams from all over the world. Trouble is some trainees return home very knowledgeable but get frustrated when they cannot employ their new skills due to lack of equipment.
Unfortunately, we may be in that category! The nurses were so excited after training on how to use a balloon pump! We have one at UHI but very rarely used. It’s expensive to employ – consumables including helium gas are expensive! At MMM it’s an every-day support equipment; at UHI it has been used rarely and only as last resort intervention. Thereafter each nurse was assigned to a particular MMM nurse for the afternoon.
The VTT doctor will shadow Dr Rajan, the head of cardiology. She (yes, SHE! We have a young female surgeon in the making! However we need more) observed one operation from beginning to end. A CABG, pronounced CABBAGE! The entire team is amazed that this operation was conducted in 2.30hrs! Such efficiency! A similar operation was done at UHI last year – many hours. Dr Mwambu was involved and overseen by an SA prof! And it was widely celebrated in the medical sphere and Prime Minister was informed! At MMM it’s the norm!
BTW the VTT asserts that UHI is extremely well equipped in terms of machines and brainpower. Patients pour in from South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo plus UN staff in the East Africa area. The other hospitals like Nakasero also send patients. Problem is the infrastructure and the limited staff! Have you been to their general ward when we’ve had a VTT in the past? I guess you understand!