Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nurses Day Celebration

The company that i work with certainly celebrate Nurses Day in a festive mood. We had a lunch meet up and of course few speeches were thrown. Our Director has always been sporting and would always join us for our social events.What I am keen about is the attitude of every staff where in the midst of our busy schedue, we meet up to have lunch together. 
 Nurses role is vital for any hospital or healthcare setup. Without them, there would be no way that the setup can thrive and prosper. They are always the unsung heroes, doing jobs sometime more than the their expected scope. I have not known any nurse who would simply neglect their patients. There are rotten apples but only a small number. These rotten apples are individuals who joined nursing for the wrong reasons.It is quite unfortunate that sometimes social media would sensationalize their experience without considering what the nurse went through that night. Of course, they have to be ma'sum without flaws but it is wrong to expect that from a fellow human being. Otherwise, the majority of the trained burses are caring and will always try to do their best for the patient. 
 Happy Nurses Day to all especially to those I've worked, lived and learnt from before. Thank you for your kindness and may Allah reward you for your sincere deeds :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

The pursuit of happyness

Kinda like that movie. Touching. 

In the true sense of all our pursuit of happiness, we are reminded to go back to the teachings of our own religion and belief.To achieve the inner peace+happiness. I suppose that is the blanket management to everybody in doubt of their own feelings. But if you do not find your happiness, does it really mean one has not gone back enough to one's religion? haha question upon question.
I guess everybody looks for their own happiness. It comes in different shapes and sizes. Multitude definition and subjective with big gaps of variability.
 What does happiness really mean? It is an interesting connotation which is being potrayed in our minds of our hopes and dreams. Things that were embedded either via formal education or informal education according to one's socio upbringing. It is tough to judge the end point as the definition may change with time according to needs and experience. 
Happiness maybe achieved own your own, or via others like spouse and family, some maybe material which involves career and money. Some may yearn recognition and status. Some may find it early and lost it, some may have looked for it all their lives and achieve it at their dying bed. It is superbly subjective which thinking about it maybe the first dogma and contradiction in achieving it! 
Have i found happiness? false happiness or true happiness?
Happiness in what i do?
Happiness on my achievements?
Happiness of offspring's future? 

And truly.. happiness is assured when one submits fully to the Almighty. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Nepal earthquake mission - Part 6

The second team arrived late that night. I was fast asleep and did not realize of their presence. Maybe there was some noise heard but i was not interested to come out from my sleeping bag! haha It was that cold at night. 
Dr Jit, Dr Sue, Dr Lai, Dr Reynu, Pak Mahmud, Kak Zah cam to join us. The team has certainly grown and we were increasing our services that day. Pak Mahmud took over the mantle of clinics logistics and we were expecting a bigger crowd that day to barge our clinic.
hand over briefing to Team 2
The task was even bigger now, setting up the Mobile OT! This is the first time ever, a fully functional Mercy Malaysia mobile OT. Mr Guna was ever ready, getting the generator ready. We had a good electrician local on board who had helped to troubleshoot a lot! A priceless addition to the team. Mana taknye, kan ada aircon sume OT ni! I am in a way very pleased that i am involved in this, so that any issues can be embedded  as the  blueprint for our future missions.  
the OT
 Setting up the Rofi ( the big tent) was a big task because somehow we have left the electrical pump, therefore resorting to pure human power. It was never tried before to pump it up manually, but the hardworking volunteers helped us out. Wow.. and it was erected majestically :) 
This was then my turn to ensure everything was OK inside the OT, the handling of stuff and limiting personnels in the tent. It was not an easy task as being a mobile OT, we had to go back to the first principles to ensure we are running it accordingly, safe and clean. 
                                                 Innovation for Disaster water clean supply
toxic waste- Cidex outside the tent
                                          Air cond and Anaesthesia corner
We did not have a GA machine, so the for anaesthetic services would specifically cater MAC (Monitored Anaesthesia Care) cases . If it was deemed necessary, then Ketamine Anaesthesia would be administered. By Day 4, the transport services to the city was accessible. Therefore, we thought that if the cases would need a long follow through, then we will not perform the surgery in our facility. Besides that, near to our place was the SKM hospital, a specialized plastic surgery hospital (collaboration with Interplast Germany) which catered initially for elective cases. However, since the disaster struck, they have managed a number of polytrauma cases in their world class facility. I had a tour in the hospital while sourcing disposables and drugs for my mobile OT.
OT team for the innaugural case
                                          Anaesthesia on..
 It was an invaluable experience as I have certainly learnt a lot about Disaster Medicine. Being on ground zero was a totally different ball game and i would not trade this experience for any other thing. The friendship and teamwork from mind alike colleagues was priceless. Most of us do not really know each other before this but Alhamdulillah, the team dynamics was excellent as we gelled and certainly had fun together. It was hardwork but with excellent team members, everything became easy and solvable.
Thank you very much Mercy Malaysia for deploying me for this team. I am indeed thankful to Allah for his grace and his plans. Thank you team.. Miss you all! 

Nepal earthquake mission - Part 5

Back to the mission..

The first day in Sankhu was memorable. We had a huge task which was to upstart run our clinic; which will be the backbone of our field hospital. Mind you, this is the first time in Mercy Malaysia's history we will be setting up the full capacity of ERU's fienld hospital. However, the 3 big guns, Dr Heng (mission leader), Yati and Pak Hapis will not be on the ground. All of them were going off to Kathmandu; having to settle a lot of coordination and logistic issues. We were left to survive the day. So there we were, Guna, me, Matron Anita & Angeline to main the fort.I was thankful that my brother together with Boiy and Harith made their way to our place at midnight. Their role was vital in the success running of the first day in action.
The first task was to erect our Utilies tents. These will be the core of our field hospital. Mr Guna was in his element; gathering the local volunteers who in a way had no other thing to do then to help us. They were a good dedicated lot. A number of them is still with us, helping us till date. Mr Guna's task is vital as he needs to ensure everything running, generator that runs the electricity and also water supply. Clean water was a big issue in the village as all the basic amenities were not functioning. May i remind you about my toilet visits.. haha 
Within a short fraction of time, the inital 2 tents were up! Kudos Mr Guna! Quickly we were in there starting to arrange the necessary for the clinic arrangement. We were lucky that we had the presence of 2 local doctors wh were there. One, as she was too affected by the quake and the other from NSET. Aliff was setting up his pharmacy side and the rest completing the set up. Initially, the clinic was supposed to be up after lunch but at 11am, We had people queing up already! This was because, it was near to lunch time where the community there would cook for the whole village to eat. It was a mere 10m from where we were! ! I had no choice but to start the ball rolling eventhough the team was not yet ready! How could i turn away a small baby!
our first patient 7 months old baby
 Security was an issue as people keep barging in to see whats going on. I was lucky Meng was there to man the gate. It was chaotic but the experience was interesting. We have practiced this during ERU simulation and it is different handling it in reality. We were blessed with the presence of few local lads who had helped to translate as well as to maintain order. 

the line for food
the busy team
It was in the chaotic moment of patients that the WHO team from Kathmandu came to visit us. They were the inspectors of relief and expressed their gratitude and upmost commendation for Mercy Malaysia's effort. Mr Guna was experienced enough to source clean water from them. It was help at its best. We had another visitor too, the rep from the Singaporean army who looked impressed with our set up. He thought he was there and to see our facility erected significantly, priceless. :) 
                                          discussion with the WHO team
And at about 1230pm, it poured. Heavy rain ala Malaysia! People ran away for cover as they were not allowed by our sentry to enter the OPD camp. Habis banjir! Yup..we were seeing patients with water rising slowly! Mr Guna saw this and took his boys to settle it by creating diverting drains. It was in the rain that they did that.. Kudos Mr Guna! SInce people fled, I decided that we should close the clinic for a while for lunch. I could see all team members were drained instateneously during that rush hour. I dont think we had proper breakfast before we start work that day. We joined in the queue! Haha.. Dal Bhat at its best :)

caught in action haha 
It was a chaotic but certainly satisfactory day. We ran the clinic in the afternoon till quite late as it was difficult to turn away the patients who came to see us. Earthquake related matters were the main cases we saw that day. It was my first time handling it, especially as CMO bidan terjun for the first time on Ground Zero's first day. The locals were certainly a helpful lot and friendship created was memorable. At the end of the day, I was proud to see our facility erected, it was just a small fraction of the full set up but i was very proud. Being part of this.. Insha Allah. 
the set up
Ground zero team (Pak Hapis tak muat haha)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nepal Earthquake mission - The beauty of Sankhu

Every morning when i woke up in Sankhu, it was refreshing. Somehow, sleeping here was more fulfilling and satisfactory. I will wake up fresh and ready to go. I am not sure was it because of the fresh oxygen from the natural hill surroundings, excellent weather or was it because i was away from my daily routine of life? The view is superbly outstanding. Sunrise, sunset.. Nepal landscape is a winner. I fell in love with Nepal once and it stayed that way forever. A reminiscence of that feeling while in Sankhu.
(Credit for the beautiful pictures to insta: routexplorer & boiynadz - both were our volunteers there. The picture they caught brought lots of serene memories of Sankhu as the pictures depicted what i saw and experienced)
                                          a favourite realtime view
                                         when night beckons

                                         wheat field
                                         lunch & dinner line

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nepal earthquake mission - Part 4

Ittapole, Sankhu. 15km off Kathmandu. According to Wkipedia, this used to be a famous city as it was a stopping area for the famous Tibet-Kathmandu route. It was apparently the area where the former prime minister of Nepal was from and still the representative.
Sankhu was the off Katrhmandu city which was badly affected. As per NSET assessment, that was Mercy Malaysia's field hospital destination. We were off quite late in the evening. The way there was not straight forward. I was jumping up and down at the back of the lorry during the journey. It was raining that evening, it looked gloomy on our way there. 
We witnessed the destruction of the earthquake as we proceed to Sankhu. The roads were cracked, buildings which became rubbles. It was certainly a different Kathmandu from what i experienced in 2013.The current generation had never felt or experience how an earthquake would be. Imagine, the last one being 80 years ago. 
 The army truck brought us to a school compound, and the school was pink in colour! Most of the villagers who had lost their homes are taking shelter there. Our arrival was received warmly by the displaced villager,  a constant trait of the Nepalis which registered in my mind till now. We were lucky to have the Nepali army guys to help us unload, it was amazingly a lot! We managed to have the lot on the mid ground, and it was drizzling. It was superbly cold by our Malaysian standards. But not surprising, since we were at at least 1400m above sea level. 
 The people were really friendly and it helps when a number of them are able to speak in Malay as they've worked before in the country. We joined their communal dinner, as they made a point to cook for everyone who were taking shelter in the school compound. From what i can remember, at least 15 families. 
It was a cold and wet night. We were given two classrooms to fit the 7 of us. The camp beds were opened and it was more comfy than spending the night on the cement floor. I was lucky i brought my sleeping bag and my jackets. It helped a lot and i was reminded of my dreadful EBC trek trip haha At about 3am, we had an aftershock experience. Everybody was awaken by the movement it made. However according to the 5 second rule we did not need to flee from the classroom! It was amazingly scary and i cannot imagine how one would feel with a bigger magnitude shock. 
The morning was beautiful. I woke up early because the sun rose early. It was beautiful to witness the landscape of outskirts of Kathmandu. Around us were the paddy and wheat fields. We were surrounded by few building which were still standing but a short walk further revealed the utter destruction. The wrath of god. Subhanallah. Malaysia is lucky to be not disaster prone and may Allah not punish us with one in the near future. 

Nepal earthquake mission - Part 3

We boarded the C130 early that morning, by 5am we were all set to leave Kalkota. We saw 2 other Charlies, but both were Singapores. No movement from them meaning their departure would be much later from us. 
Despite the reassurance about our landing rights , we had doubts and I will only be thankful when we reach Kathmandu airport safely. We were then delayed 1 hours circling around Kathmandu airport before we had the clearance to land. The suspicion of being directed back to where we came from was possible. Luckily today, it was only about 2 hours plus we were in C130. The 6 + hours flight from KL to Kalkota was an expereince to remember!!
The scene at the Kathmandu airport was as real as it gets. I remembered how in Kelantan it looked like really we are in the movies, this time around.. lagi Waah.. as international air forces from all around the world were flocking the airport. The US army, Israeli, Indian.. a number of big countries sending their SAR team to help the Nepali government. It was a scene "textbook" from the movies. I felt overwhelmed. All our stuff was then unloaded. Mercy Malaysia's stuff pun banyak gile. Wow.. this are our assets. Thanks to the SMART boys, we were able to have it done in a jiff. 
 Dr Heng divided us into 3. Dr Heng and Yati to report at the coordination centre, Pak Hapis to be with our stuff together with the SMART team and myself, the reinforcement from on the ground crew; looking for Aliff and his volunteers from KE7B just outside the airport. The atmosphere was havoc, as many foreign rescue teams with their uniform and stuffs in the airport. We reported ourselves at the UN counter and was told to go to few different places on coordination. We did not really have a plan and honestly, Dr Heng himself was unsure where will we be spending the night. And we were set.. to somehow just find a way. The big plan was to meet up sometime later.. where? nobody knows.. haha
 I managed to find my brother and Aliff. I was then introduced to Boiy and Harith who would be our invaluable help in the near future. It was chaotic, the scene outside the airport. People were stranded - looking for a flight to get back home. I could see tents being set up all around the compound. I guess it was because of the aftershocks, nobody felt safe being in a building.
Aliff and I had an adventure of a lifetime that afternoon. We were made to run around Kathmandu because of some miscommunication. The one positive thing aboutit was, wearing the Mercy Malaysia vest we were treated well. Its all because of Mercy Malaysia's reputation in the relief NGO circle. There were few intenaces when bigshot foreigners came to us to introduce themselves praising Mercy Malaysia and of course, Dr Jemilah.
We were made to enter the UN compound headquarters; looking for our team members when they were not even there! Haha I actually made the UN OHCA coordinator (cant remember her name) doubting her own knowledge about the compound as i was confident that my team members were there. It was really funny thinking about it now. The positive side about that incident that day was I amde the whole UN aware of MERCY MALAYSIA's presence! Hahahaha 
Pak Hapis thought he was in UN OHCA when in fact it was not. I even asked the UN OHCA Health coordinator about the whereabouts of my team and of course, he had absolutely no idea who i was talking about! hahahaha
We then regrouped at the designated SAR teams home base near the airport. This was where our SMART team were with our stuff! We met up with Dr Heng and Yati here, and were told to be deployed a village about 20km away from Kathmandu downtown. It was getting dark, and together with 6 Nepali soldiers we then went off to our designated area. It was dark and gloomy, i felt cold due to the rain. Subhanallah, the adventure begins.. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Nepal earthquake mission - Part 2

I was informed by Ain quite late evening about the departure plans. I was wondering how were we expected to fly to Nepal when the Kathmandu airport was currently closed. All flights in and out was cancelled. I was then informed that the Mercy Malaysia team will depart with the SMART, RED CROSS & army from TUDM Subang airport. This will be my second time boarding  Charlie C130 after Kelantan early this year. But for a 6 hours flight ? oohh.. 
We were told to assemble in TUDM Subang at 4am. I had Azad to help me which luckily he was free to do so. I packed that night to the minimum that i could thought off, all for outdoor and survival type of travel. I was told to expect the worse and Insha Allah, I am quite alright with that. I had shivers in my spine.. seriously my first time on a ground zero mission. 
 When i arrived at the TUDm Subang, as usual there were issues with the guard. It was not too long before i met with the other team members. It was good to see some famiiar faces, but none was going! Kak Nita, Angie, Pak Hapis, Guna, Yati and of course our team leader, Dr Heng. 
At the same time, I managed to get in touch with my friend, Aliff who was in KAthmandu. Coincidentally, he was with the KE7B team which had to cancel their expedition plans. Apparently, he was a miassive help during Mercy's mission in Kelantan that Pak Hapis requested if it was possible for Aliff to join our team. Aliff of course did not hesitate and we were to meet at the airport when tomorrow comes.
Before leaving Malaysia, we had to take our jabs.. 3 in one shot as per required by the army since we are going to a third world country haha I took it in my stride but it was funny to witness how the docs themselves tried to avoid the vaccinations that were supposed to protect us during the mission. 
Getting on the C130 was exciting - as this time around i was in THE Malaysia rescue team to Nepal. The SMART fellas were looking smart and determined. I had goosebumps when the flight took off. May Allah protect all of us in this journey. The flight was not too bad, I managed to get some sleep despite the discomfort. But since macam dah mengantuk..ok je tido haha
 After 6 hours we were scheduled to land in Kalkota. Unfortunately, we did not get the clearance to land in Kathmandu that day. The pilots were negotiating but to avail. Later i got to know, our Airasia contact in India sought the help of the Malaysian Embassy in India to help negotiate with the Nepali government. We were stranded for 5 hours on the tarmac in Kalkota airport! Beat that! haha 
Later, we were told that we had to spend the night in Kalkota because we were only cleared to land i nKAthmandu the next morning. What can we do can't we? I have learnt, along my past missions.. one the requirement is to have patience.. lots of it! I remembered how Dr Essam with his smiling face telling us.. "Patience.. brother.. patience.. this is all god's will"
Well, we were then escorted to a hotel in Kolkata and I will always remember the 2 LOUD n CLEAR incidents with Dr Heng.. haha tak bule cerita la.. ni cerita utk team sahaja.. but something i thought it would be of a good trait to apply in my future missions:)