Trip report from Josephine…

Namaste, a simple greeting with a profound meaning: “bow down to the supreme-being within.”

It resonates perfectly with the reason we are in Bangladesh, acknowledging the supreme-being within our patients and a belief that each of us has the divine right to receive good medical care.

For 4 years, Uncle Sakti has traveled to the remote LAMB hospital, this being my second trip, I am again struck by the need for urologists in the area.

Josephine H Tamola, Sakti Das & Tina SasakiWe were accompanied by Dr. Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, the premier reconstructive surgeon in India, Tina Sasaki, a general surgery resident from Alameda County Medical Center, and Dr. Preman, a UK anesthesiologist.

The patients have been waiting a year for our team to arrive, having traveled long distances for surgery or just a clinical consultation. With help from our LAMB colleagues, we tackled complex urological surgeries such as vesicovaginal fistulas, urethral strictures and hypospadias.

Urological conditions significantly impact quality of life. Women with vesicovaginal fistulas are ostracized from society because of the constant leakage of urine. Urinary obstruction from stricture disease results in prolonged catherization and severe morbidity. These conditions occur in young men and women with no other comorbidities – patients suffer for decades with these problems.

Surgery has changed patients’ quality of life, allowing them to shed the social stigma associated with their urological condition. I feel truly privileged to have the trust of my patients and I am blessed to offer my service.

This brings me back to the greeting namaste. Our work here in Bangladesh made me serve and prostrate to the supreme-being in my patients, allowing that supreme-being to manifest its full potential.

Insha’Allah I shall return to the enchanting land of Bangladesh to serve the wonderful people here.

Photo: Josephine H Tamola – Sakti Das – Tina Sasaki

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