Back row L-R: Dr Sadiq Usman Garba (HOD, Anaesthesiology), Prof Lawan Umar (Community Health Physician), Prof Abdurrahman Abba Sheshe (Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee)
Front row L-R: Dr Wiyata Tamara Diggs (Trainee), Dr Alhassan Datti Mohammed (Technical Lead Coordinator of the Project), Dr Levi Korheina (Trainee), Prof Aminu Zakari Mohammed (Chief Medical Director, AKTH), Dr Kpehe Maimie (Trainee), Dr Earnest Kokolee (Trainee).
There was a heavy pour down of rain as we made our way to the Robert International Airport in Liberia, some 49.64 kilometres away from the Liberian capital Monrovia, on Thursday, September 6. The communities around the airport gradually became flooded due to the rain. A heavy stream of water ran across the road heading to the airport but the water level was still low and could permit motor vehicles to navigate through.
We all met at the Robert International Airport with our relatives at 9.30am as check-in was at 10.50am. The four of us immediately entered the terminal and checked-in. We returned outside and bid our wives, husband, family members and friends goodbye. While we shared fun and said our parting words, AIR Peace landed.
We entered the terminal and awaited the time for departure. We were called by the airline attendant to board a bus that took us to the plane and we boarded with the other passengers. When we were all seated, the flight attendant walked everyone through the safety procedures and then we were asked to fasten our belts. The plane began moving slowing, speeding up gradually until reaching a very high velocity and we were up in the sky. The flight with AIR Peace was awesome and flight attendants were kind and willing to help. We touched ground in Accra, Ghana, at the Kokota International Airport, and spent approximately 30 minutes there before flying to Lagos in Nigeria. There was a little turbulence before landing, but our pilot was very skilful at picking up and landing despite the turbulence and bad weather.
Upon arriving at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, at about 4.00pm local time, we headed for the terminal and were processed by immigration. At this point, our guide Mr. Aliyu Tata found us and took us to the belt to collect our luggage. Three of us got our luggage, except for Dr. Levi D. Korheina, and we waited and searched but could not find his luggage. Mr. Aliyu Tata revealed this was common occurrence with the airline but assured us that the luggage would be found and brought to Dr. Korheina. The case was filed with the airline and then we left for the domestic airport. Reaching the domestic airport, we checked–in and were charged for extra baggage unlike RIA. We then found somewhere to eat because we were very hungry. Afterwards, we headed for the terminal and waited for AZMAN plane that was to take us to Kano City in North West Nigeria.
The flight to Kano was not as smooth as the previous flight, I think this was due to the fact that the plane was bigger, we were travelling at night and the weather was still very bad. However, applying their efforts the pilot and his team made our stay onboard the plane very comfortable.
Landing at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, in Kano City, Dr. Muhammed Datti was right there waiting for us on an Amino Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) bus. We all boarded the bus with our luggage and drove through the silent streets of Kano City. As we entered the hospital compound, we were all uncertain as to how our living place for the next fifteen months would be. However, when we entered the compound, all of our fears were allayed. Indeed, Dr. Datti and his team had done an incredible job preparing for us and we were truly grateful.
Dr. Datti asked us to rest, and that he was going to be back the next morning to show us around and help us get our local GSM mobile numbers, which he did. Dr. Datti also introduced us to Sarah, the housemaid, and Chubor her manager. Whatever we need, they will be available to help us get it.
Amino Kano Teaching Hospital is ideal for teaching, and the people have been warm and friendly towards us since we arrived. The Chief Resident, Dr. Nasir has shown us the various theatres we will be expected to work in and also informed us that we will start work on Monday, September 17.
Lastly, Dr. Datti received the news that Dr. Korheina’s luggage was found and he drove Dr. Korheina to the airport to collect his bag which had been missing for four days while Dr. Nasir took us around the Hospital. We are thankful to God for that.
Heartfelt thanks to WFSA, LMDA, AKTH for making this opportunity possible.