As you have read in previous blogs, I have the privilege to follow the work of the esteemed fistula surgeon Dr Kees Walldijk here in Nigeria. For an amateur golf player it would be the same as being mentored and learning all the professional skills of Tiger Woods.
Just as organized, meticulous and perfect in his work Dr Kees is neglecting his own comfort and private life. Visiting around 9 hospitals in Nigeria and 3 in the neighboring country Niger he is constantly on the road like a nomad, driving long distances to do surgery in the 12 hospitals he supervise, staying in low budget - ***(minus three star) hotels without any comfort and eating whatever is available of local food.
In his living area in Katsina there is no electricity, no air-condition or other modern facilities. The only luxury he allows himself is a functioning fridge. When indoor temperature reaches 40° it makes a lot of difference if you can have something cold to drink in between.
Postoperative ward in Kano before starting surgery
After some sessions the ward starts to fill up.
Dr Kees is not the only traveler. One of yesterday’s patients – a young girl – had travelled all the way from Niger where she is living close to the border of Chad!