The Bugs Doctor With a Passion For Music
by Emmanuel Ndawula
‘What inspired you to write this book?’ is a question I have been asked by many people including members of my family, friends and others. It can be answered in one sentence, ‘It was to share experience and information’. We are all witnesses of varies events in our lives. Some people like me have this urge to share these experiences with other people through conversation, art, drama writing, and music among others. I chose the last two as my media of communication.
There is something about writing that makes it so real and permanent. As far as music is concerned, I have always been interested in writing songs and performing to my family and close friends. The main thrust of the book was sharing the information I had as a microbiologist. Some friends and family did not know exactly what I did for a living. Once they discovered what I did, they would ask me questions about infections and check with me encounters with their healthcare providers.
This gave me the idea of empowering them as well as the general public so that they got the most out of the available services. They would be empowered at two levels: – 1) The first one would be when they report to their doctor. They would understand how their infections are managed through a concept I coined called descriptive diagnosis. For example, it would make sense why they needed or did not need an antibiotic. 2) When the doctor orders a microbiology test, I wanted them to have a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in the laboratory and how the quality of the reports that go back to their doctor affect the management of their infections.
Good laboratories do not work in isolation. They have to be in well-managed hospitals which in turn have to be in well run national service or good healthcare system. The book goes in some depth of how this could be achieved. I was able to do this because I had first-hand experience having worked in the UK National Health Service for thirty six years as well as working for a private hospital for thirty years. There are many individuals and groups all over the world, working hard to raise sepsis awareness in order to reduce the number of deaths caused by this treatable condition. One hopes that revealing what a microbiologist does day to day will be of interest to many such people. I also share my experiences of other activities that were part of my job. These included interviews, meetings and teaching among others. I hope these will resonate with people with similar experiences. I quoted incidences to demonstrate my belief in competence, hard work and reward.
On a lighter note, I talk about my passion for music and how I used music to convey many messages and things I believe in. It also demonstrates the fact that many people have interests outside their chosen professions. These enrich their lives as music did mine.
I love good food; so I compare this book with a plate of food. Ideally, it should be nutritionally balanced. It should stimulate all the different taste buds-sweetness, sourness bitterness, saltiness among others. It should also have different consistencies-smoothness, crispness, moistness as well as a great presentation. Very few chefs can produce such a course of a meal. Those who do expect their customers to pay a lot for it. My book ticks may tick few boxes but it is good value for money as it contains some lifesaving medical advice. Unlike the plate of food, you can go back weeks or even months later and read again the bits you enjoyed at no additional cost.
emmanuel ndawula guest post