Yesterday was the big election day for Pune. Throughout this entire month different areas of India have been voting for the new prime minister. Thursday was Pune’s day. When Dada was taking me to the clinic we saw many small voting tables set up on the sides of the road. Mrs. Dabak explained at breakfast that most of India is ready for a major change with this new PM. They will find out the results of the polling sometime in May.
In other news, I switched over to one of the pediatric clinics in downtown Pune yesterday. The minute I walked into the building I felt at home… there were paintings of jungle animals and pictures of “off label” Disney characters hanging on the walls 🙂 The pediatrician rushed in a little while after I got there and came immediately up to me, shook my hand, and said “Hallo! My name is Dr. Godoble. It is good to have you here. What is your name?” I was comforted by his friendliness and hi easily understandable English. He had so much energy and was a pleasure to be around. He would talk with his patients in Marathi half of the time and in English for the other half, so I was able to understand a little more about what was going on.
At about 12:30 we took the daily chai break, which I am seriously considering implementing when I get back to the States! Dr. Godoble saw about 40 patients in the morning before stopping for a lunch break around 2:30. I sat and ate my chapati and veggie concoction with the doctor and his wife while discuss some questions I had about practicing pediatrics in India. Here are a few questions I asked him and the answers he gave me:
What are some of the most common diseases or conditions kids come in to see you for?
-Infectious diseases, especially diarrhea (E. Coli) and upper respiratory tract infections.
Do most children receive the complete recommended course of vaccines?
-In the city where there is better access to medical care, most children receive all of their vaccinations. Some families choose only to have the ones that are covered by the government, but not many people refuse them completely.
Is there access to quality medical care in rural areas?
-No. There are government funded hospitals, but the quality of care in these facilities are not the same as in private hospitals. Because there is poor compensation for physicians in rural areas, many people do not practice there. There is even a shortage of physicians within the city, so less and less people are choosing to work in the rural areas.
Not only was this lunch discussion interesting and beneficial, but I also had a great time seeing all of the kiddos throughout the day. The physician counseled his patients on proper dietary habits, which I loved hearing. The theme was familiar…more fruits, veggies, and exercise.
The most memorable patient was a little 3 month old boy whom we saw immediately after our chai break. When I walked into the small exam room there were already about 8 people packed in there. I was making my way around a few family members to stand closer to the physician so that I could hear and see better when all of the sudden I felt something cold and wet hit my arm and leg. I looked up and saw a steady stream of pee coming from the diaperless child held by his mother. By the time I realized what had just happened I was successfully christened by this little one and had to exit the crowd to wash off. When the family left after the exam the baby’s mom looked over to apologize, but I tried to motion for her not to worry… When a kid’s gotta go, he’s gotta go 😉
Hopefully I’ll have some more fun stories for you all tomorrow. Miss you all!!