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Finding your way at FAME Medical

Continuing our Tour de Fame, just close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself arriving at FAME Medical as a patient. The first one to examine you, will be a physician at the outpatient clinic (more on which you can read here). If you need some form of further treatment, your physician will send you down the hallway to the inpatient clinic, where you will find two wards with 12 beds each. The pregnant women among you will be admitted to ward 2, a.k.a. the maternity ward; all others will have to find a bed in ward 1.

Illness of course does not always arrive calmly or within office hours. Therefore, a night clinic with 24 hour emergency care is located at the entrance of the ward area. Opening the next door in line will unveil the theatre area, where two fully equipped operating rooms and a recovery room await you. There are also rooms for sterilization and storage of materials, and a conference room where the doctors gather daily for their morning meetings.

Leaving the ward area, you will notice a separate building, which houses the indispensable radiology department. In a rural setting like Karatu, diagnosing problems in time can save lives. At FAME, this is made possible by the x-ray machine, CT scanner and ultrasound machine. From this building, diagnostic images may easily be shared with experts abroad, allowing for a quick response to emergencies.

At the edge of the hospital site, a bit hidden away, the waste management department can be found. Here, medical waste is burned in a specially designed oven and you will also find placenta pit here. To reach this place, you will have to cross the typical red soil, which tends to turn into a sticky, muddy red mess after some showers. That’s why you will find a pair of white rubber boots at the maternity ward, and believe me, you will need them when carrying a placenta down to the pit in rainy weather.

Another reason to wear boots is that you have to cross a construction site when going to the waste management department. The wards are getting too small for the ever increasing number of patients at FAME, so an impressive maternity hospital is being built near the radiology department. It will house four labour rooms, a theatre, post and pre-natal beds, consultations rooms et cetera.

At the edge of the hospital site there are houses for permanent medical staff. Having them there guarantees the presence of enough qualified personnel in case an emergency arises and staffing quantity has to be scaled up. Symbolically located at the heart of the site, you will find the house of FAME Medical’s founders, Dr. Frank and Mama Susan. They are always just a heartbeat away and are very directly and closely involved in all daily affairs at FAME. Despite their busy work schedule, they always seem to have time and attention for a chit-chat with staff members, whether doctors or housekeepers.

Over the course of the last blogs, we went all around the FAME Medical hospital site. Concluding our tour, we are now back at our starting point, at the Reproductive and Child Health Centre near the gate. More on the FAME experience and my Tanzanian adventure in the next blogs. Stay on board!

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