Galmi Hospital in Niger—Urgent Need for General Surgeon, anytime through December 2019

Galmi Hospital located in Niger has an urgent need for general surgeons anytime through December 2019. A minimum commitment of two weeks plus travel is required.

Galmi Hospital compound usually has 20 to 30 missionaries, a total hospital staff of around 200, and 180 beds, located in a remote but well-traveled area at the edge of the Sahara Desert. Galmi Hospital has inpatient medical, obstetric, and surgical services and runs a PAACS Surgical Training Program. The occupancy rate varies between 70% and 150% and admissions range from 10-50 per day, depending on the epidemic season. The hospital has specific under-5s, antenatal, HIV, and dental care, as well as general medical and surgical clinics. There are between five and 10 major surgeries performed daily. Each patient is seen by an evangelist, who assists in the holistic care offered at Galmi Hospital. The hospital also has a very busy outpatient department, with 200 to 500 people seen daily. Galmi Hospital primarily serves settled farmers, traders, and nomadic people of the Hausa, Fulani, and Tamajeq tribes of Niger, though some of our patients come from surrounding countries for care.

Volunteers fly by commercial airline to the city of Niamey. The following morning, they take a SIM mission flight to Galmi. Volunteers must arrive in Niamey Monday-Thursday. The volunteer will take a SIM flight the day after arrival in Niamey. The SIM flight does not fly on Sundays and is not always available on Saturdays.

December to February temperatures range from 55° (middle of the night)-95°F (middle of the day). The hottest months are April, May, and October with temperatures ranging from 90°-110°F (often higher in April and May). The rainy season is June to September, with temperatures between 80°-100°F. It is moderately humid during the rainy season. Homes in Galmi have evaporative coolers or air conditioning.

French is the national language, but Hausa is the language of most patients. English is used in the OR.

95% or more of the patients at Galmi are Muslim. Islamic beliefs are blended with traditional religious practices.

Charting is done in English or French. Translators are available for patient interaction.

There are three operating rooms with a total of four tables. Anywhere from five to 12 major surgeries are performed daily averaging 8,000 surgeries per year. A large number of emergency C-sections are performed each year. There is basic surgical equipment (packs) and some orthopedic equipment. There are electrocautery machines and suction machines. No laparoscopic equipment is available. Basic suture materials are usually available, but Galmi relies on volunteers to carry in donated sutures.

Galmi is a Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) program participant. PAACS has established surgical training programs at Christian hospitals across Africa. PAACS residents rotate working under the surgical sub-specialists. Short-term volunteers in both general surgery and sub-specialties (including anesthesia and radiology) should understand that teaching is their primary goal. The curriculum is similar to the United States with both formal lecturing and hands-on training. Volunteers should be in direct contact with hospital field staff prior to departure to prepare for their teaching role. For more information on PAACS, visit www.paacs.net.

Majority of cases are done under spinal anesthesia. Ketamine, local, and general anesthesia (using halothane) are also available.

There is currently no radiologist on staff. Basic X-rays are available, and there are several small ultrasound machines available for those who know how to do basic ultrasounds. A radiologist volunteering short term would work with current staff to improve their ultrasound techniques and interpretation of X-rays.

The hospital Lab is capable of basic serology and limited chemistries, including malaria smears, HIV testing, CD4 counts, and urine/stool examination (see Galmi Protocol booklet for details). No bacteriology capability or pathology (except GRAM stains). All pathology specimens are sent to the United States.

Common diseases seen include malaria, typhoid, obstetric complications, meningitis, high blood pressure, heart disease, TB, pneumonia, severe burns, orthopaedic problems, urological emergencies, and malnutrition.

The individual volunteer is responsible for all costs of the trip. World Medical Mission (WMM) volunteers are self-funded or raise financial support to cover all expenses associated with their trip. World Medical Mission will assist in arranging all travel, including international flights, in-country travel, visas, permits and/or medical licensing.

If you are a Christian physician specializing in orthopaedic surgery, currently licensed in the U.S. or Canada, and are interested in meeting this urgent need, please contact Kandi Burgess by email or by phone at 828-278-1575.