Owen Chipewa, Clinical Officer, has been in residence at Nkhoma Mission Hospital for three years and is an integral part of the WAM/Watsi team. Owen, who has been a clinical officer for 7 years, said early on his life he felt drawn to medicine, surgery especially. After completing his Clinical Medicine Diploma, Owen headed to Nkhoma to practice surgery and family medicine.
“I wanted to come to Nkhoma because this is one of the best hospitals in the country,” Owen said in an interview in October 2017. “This hospital is one of the best facilities in the country to do surgery, the hospital is able to meet the needs of the patients and the reputation of the surgical staff and the facility itself is excellent”.
The surgeries Owen performs range from Watsi-funded procedures such as prostatectomies, hysterectomies, and hernia repairs, to trauma and cesarean sections. But Owen’s day does not start with scrubbing in; everything starts with a team meeting. “Normal surgery days are Tuesday and Thursday, sometimes all day, but occasionally we have an emergency cesarean section or a trauma patient who needs to be in theater right away”, Owen explained. “The OR can be very, very busy!”
When asked how the Watsi and WAM partnership has worked for the hospital, Owen did not hesitate with his answer, “Watsi is the best funding institution we have. This program helps so much. I have patients come with no shoes, in rags, desperate for help with no way to pay for treatment. Now, they can have their operations and live a healthy, full life. This program has impacted the community, and the country. This work transforms lives, and I get to see my patients leave here whole and well.”