The first stop on our trip was to Nigeria. I had heard quite a bit about the SIM hospital in Jos, so I was excited to see it firsthand!
Dad and I left the US early early Saturday morning, had quick layovers in Toronto, Canada and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We arrived into Abuja, Nigeria where an SIM driver met us. We then drove about 5 hours to the city of Jos and got settled into the guesthouse.
Currently Nigeria is in the rainy season, so it rained at least once every day and everything was very green! Jos is also in the Plateau state, so it stays a bit cooler than the rest of the country. Highs were in the low 90s the whole week we were there!
The road from Abuja to Jos
Driving up the pass to the Plateau state
Fields of groundnuts (peanuts)
Our first view of Jos
The guesthouse on one of the SIM residential compounds in Jos
Everything is so green!
On Monday, Dad and I went to the Bingham University Teaching Hospital (formerly Evangel Hospital) and toured the facility. We met Dr. Shephard who showed us around the Evangel VVF Center and we went on rounds of the VVF ward with him.
The entrance to the hospital
The operating room in the VVF hospital
Talking through interesting cases in Dr. Shephard's office
The Lewis Wall VVF Hostel (formerly used as a hostel for pre- and post-op women, now used for the clinic exam room, offices, and the new OR)
The Arrowsmith VVF Clinic, named for Dr. Steve Arrowsmith who founded the VVF hospital nearly 25 years ago. This is currently where women wait on clinic day
The records room--there's an amazing wealth of information on fistula just waiting to be published!
Outside the PT department for the Bingham University Teaching Hospital
Monday afternoon we went to the SIM office. We met the field director who shared about SIM's vision for Nigeria. We also learned about the other SIM ministries in Jos besides the hospital, and we chatted with the personnel director about what life would be like in Jos, should I decide to serve there.
That evening we had dinner with the director and his wife. Throughout the trip, we had meals in missionaries' homes; it was fun to hear their stories and it helped me imagine what life would be like.
On Tuesday, I was in the VVF clinic with Dr. Shephard and a OBG/GYN resident. They saw about 15 new ladies with urinary leakage, as well as examined a few patients from the ward who'd undergone previous repairs unsuccessfully. At that point Dr. Shephard set the surgery schedule for Thursday (and sometimes surgeries run into Friday, in the busy season).
The screening room
While waiting in clinic, the women can watch the Jesus Film. The hope is to also include other Biblical presentations in Hausa as well as short video clips about fistula, safe childbirth, basic sanitation, and other health topics
A sign in the clinic reminding women that labor should not last more than 12 hours
Lunch at the Shephards' house with Matt, a med student from Alabama
Tuesday night we had dinner with Gay Lynn, an occupational therapist from Texas who's been working in Jos for several years. She's been working with designing compression garments for patients with burns. She showed us around the multi-family apartment building where most of the short term and single missionaries stay, and she also cooked a delicious meal of tacos for us! (Complete with taco shells left by another missionary!)
Gay Lynn and me
Wednesday morning one of the SIM office assistants took Dad and me to the local market. We were on a mission to buy cute African fabric for mom and me--and we found three different pieces of beautiful fabric!
Kangyang helping me pick out fabric
Dad and I had lunch with Dr. Shephard and Dr. Lengman, the other VVF surgeon there. We chatted about the upcoming conference of fistula surgeons, some research studies they'd like to do, and their plans for the upcoming year.
Wednesday afternoon Nikki took us to visit the girls' transitional home on the outskirts of Jos. Here, 18 beautiful young women aged 14+ live together with a house parent. Currently, they're on school holiday, but were busy farming and making small crafts to raise money for the next year of school fees. You can read more about the program here.
Nikki and the girls showing me their garden plots
The girls' home
It's easy to make friends anywhere!
I enjoyed seeing each girl's garden plot and watching them make beaded keychains. We were so blessed when they decided to sing for us! YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THESE VIDEOS!
On Thursday morning I was in the operating room with Dr. Shephard and Dr. Lengman. I got to see two EUAs (examination under anesthesia) and two VVF repairs.
This is the door to the OR of the main hospital--the VVF center OR is not up and running yet
There are two operating rooms on the left, the recovery/PACU area is on the right, and the instrument sterilization/scrub station is behind the wooden partition in the middle of the photo
Dr. Shephard performing a VVF repair
Medical students observing in an emergency Cesarean section in the next operating room
Then it was time to get back in the car and drive to Abuja! We stayed overnight at a Catholic Convent/Guest House—which was also hosting a conference for the Navigators organization—and then went to the airport the next day.
There are always goats, sheep, or cows walking along the road. Here, the young boys are often in charge of the animals
This church is nearly finished. Much of the construction in Nigeria is done with cement cinder blocks
It is potato season! In small villages, the women will be selling their crops alongside the road.
I had a really lovely time in Jos! We met wonderful people and had many informative conversations, all while enjoying the beautiful country!
Hi Kate, it's interesting to see your Jos visit from this perspective! You had an amazing trip! We're thrilled you've chosen to serve in Nigeria. We look forward to working with you as you build your support team and prepare for the next stage of your exciting journey! Blessings, Heidi JessurunReplyDelete