Lettre du Pr. Pramod
Good Morning Team,
I hope that all of you have returned home safely by now and that each of you is well and resting up from your travels.
On behalf of the entire Cincinnati Team – I wanted to say a heartfelt ‘Thank you’, we each had an amazing time being part of the MAHF team in Algeria this past week – it exceeded our expectations – clinically, academically, culturally and personally – we will never forget the beautiful children that we were privileged to care for, the devoted parents who travelled from afar and waited patiently for us to tend to their child, the adult patients and the incredible colleagues whom we got to befriend and work alongside, teaching & learning together – their passion and dedication to the patients was inspiring (they worked on their holiday and late into the evening – always smiling and ready to do more). These and the many other experiences of our brief but enlightening time in Algeria has affected us on many levels – leaving each of us with a strong sense of purpose and an unwavering commitment to doing more as part of the MAHF team…….for the children and adult patients over there, we know that together, we can in a small way impact a sustainable difference on their health and happiness.
I do want to take the time to specifically express my personal gratitude to each of you – I know of the sacrifices that you had to make – time away from your family and day jobs, as well as the significant effort & resources expended from the entire team in planning and operationalizing this trip:
- Rahmouna and Azzedine, the entire MAHF leadership team and your sponsors – from the moment you reached out to me about this trip, working with you has been a pleasure and I especially wanted to acknowledge the attention to detail and the incredible security that you provided to our team – Thank you for taking such good care of the team from Cincinnati – there was not a single moment where we did not feel 100% safe, the BRI team assigned to protect us was fantastic, the bonds of friendship that we have forged are awesome & unforgettable and the entire trip was amazing.
- Sabri (Sabri, Sabri, Sabri, Sabri, Sabri, Sabri & Sabri!!!! – some traditions will never fade – Brother) and Fady – both of you made our stay in Algiers and Tipasa, productive and a joyful cultural, clinical and academic experience that we will never forget. We learned a lot about the practice of Urology in Algeria and how you are taught during your training. We appreciate all of the work that you and your colleagues put in place to ensure the success of this trip. The late night dinners, the impromptu dance sessions on the van as we drove to and from Tipasa are memories etched permanently. The common bond of your dedication and passion for your patients, the children in need, your desire to learn and improve as well as the endless joking around and laughter served as a unifying language that we could all relate to – you Guys are totally awesome, we hope to see you in Cincinnati sometime in the future where we can repay some of your hospitality.
- JalilBhai – you are truly inspiring and a wonderful ‘Cultural attaché’, I think that without your presence a lot of our message would have been lost in translation – not only did you relate our words to the colleagues, children, families and politicians that we interacted with – but you also conveyed our emotions in your interpretation – not easy to do, but incredibly important and effective. The entire Cincinnati Team thanks you for taking time away from your life in the USA and being part of the team (hopefully you will rejoin the team for any future trips).
- The entire team at the Tipasa hospital – top to bottom, we were received with open arms and made to feel welcome from the moment we stepped off the van on Thursday afternoon. The Doctors, administrators, nurses, orderlies and support staff (in the OR, The PACU, the patient floors and the cafeteria) as well as our security personnel all treated us so kindly. We arrived as six strangers that were disrupting their daily routine and on the last day as we bid our farewells, we left as part of the Tipasa family. As I told the Director of the hospital – the only thing that was deficient during our stay in Tipasa was ‘Time’ – there just wasn’t enough time to take care of all of the children and adults who travelled there for our collaborative care. The gifts that they presented to us on the last day – were unnecessary but sincerely appreciated – they had already given us the best gift of all – their friendship and love.
- Lastly – I would be remiss, if I did not take a minute to Thank my colleagues from Cincinnati – who also made significant sacrifices to be part of this experience – when Azzedine asked me to assemble a team, I knew that I had to put together the correct group of my colleagues unified by a common purpose – a desire to help and serve, who would be comfortable operating in a new environment, I am so proud to say that the Team from Cincinnati was ‘PERFECT’ we coalesced into a highly functional team and engaged with our colleagues at all levels and delivered high quality, uncompromising and SAFE medical care to the children and adults that we cared for. We had a chance to debrief on the way home – and each of us remains committed to the MAHF mission and to helping improve medical care for the children and adults in Algeria, we await knowing what the next steps are going forward.
I have tried to capture some of the unforgettable moments and emotions that we all experienced during this trip through the lens of my camera – well over 400 pictures for your viewing pleasure. I am attaching a link to a folder that I have created in Dropbox that will give you access to all of the photos (I did NOT share the pictures showing any clinical details of our patients though – I know that we all respect their right to privacy and being treated with dignity – if any did make it through my screening of the photos – please delete the photo immediately, Thanks).
If you have trouble viewing the photos – please reach out to me and we can discuss alternative means of getting the photos to you.
Have an amazingly awesome rest of your weekend and once again – thank you for allowing us to be a part of this transformational mission.