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On Sept. 12, a freight train and a Metrolink passenger train crashed in Chatsworth, killing 25 people and injuring 135. The injured were taken to hospitals throughout the area, including UCLA Medical Center. Mark Morocco is an emergency room physician there. UCLA Medical Center's Mark Morocco describes the frenetic pace, with not a second to waste, as the staff fights to help the injured survive.
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TANZANIA: Vaccination campaign treats millions of children

Photo: AMREF/Chris White
Millions of children have been vaccinated against measles, polio and other diseases in a national campaign
DAR ES SALAAM, 2 September 2008 (IRIN) - Millions of parents and guardians sent their children to be vaccinated on 30 and 31 August in a national campaign against measles, polio and other diseases, officials said on Tuesday. “The exercise has been generally successful as many parents turned out with their children in most districts in the country,” Donan Mbando, director of preventive health in the health ministry, said. Vice-president Ali Mohamed Shein urged parents and guardians to make sure their children were vaccinated against measles because the disease still existed in the country. "The outbreak of the disease in Dar es Salaam and Tanga in 2006 reminds us of its existence and a possible future outbreak if children are not vaccinated.” That outbreak led to the deaths of 22 people, while the number of patients reached 3,527, of whom 1,580 were in Dar es Salaam and 1,683 in Tanga. Mbando said measles was among the major childhood diseases in the country and the goal was to cover 11,639,918 children younger than five. Polio inoculation targeted 1,715,279 children in 18 districts, especially those on the borders with Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. The last cases of polio in Tanzania were reported in 1996. He said vitamin A drops were issued to 6,569,788 under-fives and de-worming medicine to 5,658,400 under-10s. Studies by local health institutions have revealed widespread cases of intestinal infestation with parasitic worms that consume nutrients, thus retarding children’s physical development. Vedastina Mziray, a clinical officer at Ilala District Hospital in Dar es Salaam, said the parasites destroyed tissue and organs, as well as causing abdominal pain, diarrhoea, intestinal obstruction, anaemia, ulcers and other health problems. “The consequences of such infection can include slow cognitive development and thus impair learning,” she said. In some parts of the country children were given drugs against bilharzia, also known as Schistosomiasis. Rumours spark panic However, on 30 August, Frida Mokiti, chief medical officer in the central Tanzanian region of Morogoro, suspended anti-bilharzia and de-worming exercises until further notice. Some parents and residents panicked on rumours that pupils fainted after being vaccinated, whereupon they stormed into two schools and attacked teachers – demanding the immediate release of their children. Similar incidents occurred in the south-western region of Rukwa. The regional medical officer Saduni Kabuma said a dozen pupils were sent to the Sumbawanga hospital where they were treated and discharged. He said it was suspected the drugs were administered before the children were given food. “It is recommended that meals should be served prior to taking the drugs,” he said.

TANZANIA: Cholera kills four in northern districts

Photo: Julius Mwelu/IRIN
A butchery in Arusha: Four people have died of cholera, spread by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated, in the northern Tanzanian region of Mara
DAR ES SALAAM, 10 September 2008 (IRIN) - Four people have died of cholera and dozens were admitted to health centres in the northern Tanzanian region of Mara, according to health officials. Mara Regional Medical Officer Stephen Kebwe said four patients died in the first week of September in Tarime district, which borders Kenya. "Doctors and nurses have been deployed to the affected areas .. the situation has now greatly improved," Kebwe said. Cholera is an acute illness characterized by watery diarrhea that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease is spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the bacteria. Contamination usually occurs when human feces from a person who has the disease seeps into a community water supply. Fruit and vegetables can also be contaminated in areas where crops are fertilized with human feces. Cholera bacteria also live in warm, brackish water and can infect persons who eat raw or undercooked seafood obtained from such waters. Kebwe said cholera cases were first reported in Tarime on August 16, 2008. The officer said so far 180 cases have been reported in Tarime and Rorya districts. Kebwe said 164 cases were treated at various health centres and discharged. Kebwe said 16 patients were still admitted at health centres in the two district until Wednesday morning. Massive campaigns, he said, against cholera were being conducted in the area. He said people were being urged to observe hygienic rules strictly.


Εγινε με μεγάλη επιτυχία το πρώτο σεμινάριο Τροπικής και Ταξιδιωτικής Ιατρικής του Μεταπτυχιακού Τμήματος «ΔΙΕΘΝΗΣ ΙΑΤΡΙΚΗ - ΔΙΑΧΕΙΡΙΣΗ ΚΡΙΣΕΩΝ ΥΓΕΙΑΣ» της ιατρικής Σχολής του Πανεπιστημίου μας.

Τριάντα μεταπτυχιακοι φοιτητές συνοδευόμενοι απο καθηγητές με μεγάλη εμπειρία στις λοιμώξεις και τα άλλα τροπικά νοσήματα είχαν την ευκαιρία για δεκαπέντε μέρες να μελετήσουν απο κοντά τα μεγάλα προβλήματα υγείας του αναπτυσόμενου κόσμου, να περιθάλψουν ασθενείς , να παρακολουθήσουν διαλέξεις υψηλού επιπέδου αλλα και να γνωρίσουν απο κοντά την σύγχρονη πραγματικότητα της μαύρης ηπείρου.

Το σεμινάριο έγινε στις εγκαταστάσεις του Τανζανικού Κέντρου Εκπαίδευσης στην Διεθνή Ιατρική και στο νοσοκομείο St Francis στην απομακρυσμένη πόλη Ιφακάρα της κεντρικής Τανζανίας.

Πρόκειται ουσιαστικά για την πρώτη προσπάθεια του είδους αυτού ωστε Ελληνες ιατροί να εξοικεωθούν με τα νοσήματα των τροπικών και να εξοπλιστούν με γνώσεις πολύτιμες και για τη χώρα μας ιδίως στην σημερινή εποχή της παγκοσμιοποπησης και των μεγάλων διηπειρωτικών μετακινήσεων πληθυσμών.

Υπο την εποπτεία των καθηγητών κκ Πετρίκκου, Ρόζενμπεργκ , Κοσμίδη , της ιατρού Κας Πηρουνάκη και άλλων διακεκριμένων Ελλήνων ιατρών, οι Ελληνες μεταπτυχιακοί υπότροφοι είχαν την ευκαρία να εργαστούν στο νοσκομείο της πόλης, να μελετήσουν την εργαστηριακή διερεύνηση των σημαντικότερων νοσημάτων να συζητήσουν ερευνητικές προσπάθειες για τον περιορισμό και την καταπολέμηση του ΑIDS της ελονοσίας και της φυματίωσης στον αναπτυσόμενο κόσμο. Παράλληλα οι Έλληνες ιατροί ήρθαν σε επαφή με τις τοπικές κοινωνίες, επισκέφτηκαν σχολεία, ορφανοτροφεία και άλλα ιδρύματα και γνώρισαν τα ήθη και την κουλτούρα των τοπικών φυλών.

Φυσικά ενα τέτοιο ταξίδι δεν θα μπορούσε να κλείσει χωρίς επισκέψεις στις ομορφιές μιας απο τις πιο αντιπροσωπευτικές χώρες της υποσαχάριας Αφρικής : ταξίδι με πιρόγα στο υδάτινο οικοσύστημα του ποταμού Κιλομπέρο, διανυκτέρευση στους καταρράκτες των τροπικών ορέων Ουτζούνγκβα, και επίσκεψη στο εθνικό πάρκο Μικούμι ήταν μερικές απο τις δραστηριότητες των φοιτητών. Το εκπαιδευτικό προγραμμα περιλάμβανε ακόμη προβολή ταινιών σχετικών με την αναπτυξιακή βοήθεια στην Αφρική, συζητήσεις για τα προβλήματα της πείνας και του υποσιστισμού, της προστασίας μετακινούμενων πληθυσμών και των ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων του δικαστηρίου για την γενοκτονία της Ρούνατα κα.

Οι Ελληνες ιατροί θα διατηρήσουν δεσμούς συνεργασίας με τους Τανζανούς ομολόγους τους και αποτελεί κοινή ευχή, το πρώτο αυτό σεμινάριο Τροπικής και ταξιδιωτικής ιατρικής να αποτελέσει ετήσιο θεσμό του Πανεπιστημίου μας