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This is the big day for me here. But Dr
Jibil has run the show and all goes like clockwork. We hope that
Somalilanders can take over the whole exam process and mental
health teaching in time. We run through our 6 OSCE stations first.
A few minor adjustments. We have a varied subject matter. We brief
actors on how to be psychotic, depressed, insomniac etc . There are
a small group in final med this year - just seven. The
examiners are briefed. The OSCEs have been rehearsed many
The OSCEs go brilliantly. All pass and do
well. In my station the actor gave a fantastic rendition
of psychosis. We had a sensitive sexual history OSCE which is
always a highly sensitive area in Somaliland and all did really
well in this. We had a Swedish Somaliland Psychiatrist visitor back
from vacation to his native Boroma and became examiner as well.
I feel confident and happy that these seven
are now ready to use their doctoring skills with a foundation of
core psychiatric knowledge and skills.
Exam meeting in afternoon. We establish the
scoring and passing of all the candidates with all external and
internal examiners present. Some of examiners have been my students
within the past few years bit have completed their internship. It
is highly professional and of an international standard.
Visit to the Fistula Hospital in the
afternoon. We go to the Fistula hospital as mentioned above. Having
a fistula devastates a woman’s life in this region. It is usually a
consequence of the dire obstetric services in the country. A girl
is left incontinent. More often than not her family disown here and
she is left destitute and abandoned by her husband. The fistula
hospital runs as a charity subsidised by some other surgical work.
Dr Gause works from about 4am every morning doing umpteen
fistula repairs on women which come from as far afield as Mogadishu
in Somalia. It changes the woman’s life. She is able to return to a
normality which was not possible before. It is a surgical
intervention that radically improves social and psychological well
being for Somali women. It is always moving to see the work of Dr
Gause in the Fistula Hospital and his devotion to this charity.
When Dr Jibril was there, I know he paid particular attention to
the psychological needs of the women there which are
Friday will be graduation ceremony where the
candidates will be there with the proud parents. And most of all I
can get up late Friday as a rest day. Looking forward to
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Dr Peter Hughes is a consultant psychiatrist
based at Springfield University Hospital, London. He has an
interest in international psychiatry and has been travelling to
Africa over the last five years doing short-term assignments in
mental health. He has recently flown to Somaliland to
work on a mental health programme.
This personal blog reflects Dr. Hughes' own
views and does not represent any Somaliland organisation in
the UK. However Dr. Hughes is indebted to KINGS-THET partnership
for providing an opportunity to take part in
this exciting project. He is grateful to Dr. Susie Whitwell
who leads the programme for mental health, and companions
Professor John Rees, Dr. Suleiman Yusuf, Helena Tabry from UK and
all colleagues in Somaliland.