Lack of resources in Ethiopia


We want to give you an idea of the kind of challenges we encounter here due to the lack of resources. To perform tumor or spine surgery, requires means, and, most of all, experience. In Ethiopia, many times our team has had to manage in situations, like those we are about to describe, that would be unthinkable in our country.

In one instance, there was a power outtage in the middle of a surgery, and the team had to pause the procedure, using mobile phone flashlights to see the operating table until the lights came back on!

On another occasion, the saw usually used to perform a craniotomy broke, and when we tried to get a replacement, it was either rusty or non-sterile, so the craniotomy had to be done manually using other instruments. Due to the lack of basic supplies, a nasogastric tube and a urine collection bag were used as surgical drainage. There are also still shortages of supplies and medicine for anesthesia.

But even though in the day to day of the medical mission there are extreme situations that require the experience of a good neurosurgery team, the truth is that the hospital facilities have improved a lot since our first mission seven years ago, and this encourages us to keep at it.