This is a 2nd report from Corinne Jeker, who is currently working at Rhein-Valley Hospital: Time flies and it so happens that I have been working at the hospital for more than two months now. I am still fascinated and every day is an experience. There is always something to do in the hospital. So, I’ve been busy lately sorting through the medical records and entering them electronically. Of course, I am far from finished; there are more than 10,000 patients admitted and more every day. I am sure that Willi the secretary will be busy for a while!

Again, the administrative work takes a lot of time and needs support, patience and control from Ruth Schäfer, who manages the operation! With Ruth’s competent and patient manner, everyone is always ready to evaluate their work and learn new things. Everyday life in the hospital is often dominated by the motto “explain”. Again and again Ruth gives instructions and informs how it should go. Of course, it very often revolves around cleanliness and organization. The patience that Ruth shows is huge! Often with success! So it is nice to see that the explanations are bearing fruit and that the changes Ruth is asking for are being implemented. As the saying goes: the tone makes the music and Ruth always hits it exactly. Even if she sometimes has to make “noise”, she always receives the necessary respect and achieves that the working atmosphere is always pleasant, fair and humorous.

The support at the baby day, which takes place once a week, is another area of responsibility of mine. Every Thursday, mothers come from near and far with their babies for weight checks and the necessary vaccinations. The mothers sometimes walk more than an hour to get to the hospital, but it is worth it for them. They pay 50 Kenyan shillings, the equivalent of 1 SFr., and receive professional and very good treatment for their children! On those days the waiting room is bursting with need. It is unbelievable how many mothers and children visit the hospital! In this context, family planning is another important part. Contraception is still a taboo subject and many women have between 6 and 8 children and cannot provide for all of them because they have been abandoned by their husbands or have no income. What spiral this triggers does not need to be explained further. All the more important is family planning, which consists mainly of information, the distribution of condoms and surgical interruption. For example, the Rhein Valley Hospital makes it possible for the Marie Stopes to come by every 3 months. This is an organization that surgically interrupts women and men in hospitals free of charge. It consists of a surgical team that informs the women and men and then interrupts them in a short procedure. A great thing! Unfortunately, however, it must be said that men are very rarely seen. The reason is often the level of knowledge and of course the historical and cultural background. Often they believe that if they would do it, they will become impotent and or limited in their masculinity. Unfortunately, in the minds of men is still that you are defined by the number of children and must prove that even in old age! The tradition and culture are strongly anchored here in Kenya and are one of the reasons that changes and innovations are difficult to implement. But exactly this different culture and the traditions are attractive for me in this country and I am happy to have a glimpse into this other world and I am excited about what is still to come!

Corinne Jeker