|Mango Tree with Ripe Mangos|
As you might imagine, if you were at a mission hospital joining the surgical team on morning rounds, you would expect to hear about what the on-call team had done the night before. And so it is here at Mbingo Baptist Hospital.
But after a month here of listening each morning to surgical rounds, and also enjoying the incredibly delicious ripe mangos that are grown here, there seemed to be a connection between the ubiquitous presence of motorcycles and the tasty mangos that were being devoured at mealtimes.
Nearly every day surgical rounds go something like this. The intern would show a series of PowerPoint slides and discuss each admission:
Case #1: 12 year old boy with broken arm after falling from mango tree
Case #2: 42 year old male with spinal cord injury after motorcycle accident
Case #3: 14 year old girl with broken leg after falling from mango tree
Case #4: 49 year old woman with diabetic ulcer
Case #5: 24 year old male with depressed skull fraction after motorcycle accident
Case #6: 27 year old male with broken leg after motorcycle accident (hit Case #5)
Case #7: 8 year old boy with laceration after falling from mango tree.
This list is fictional, but still representative of the types of admissions that come in every night at Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Cameroon.
So, finally I raised my hand and asked the surgical team, "Are mango tree injuries seasonal?" The room erupted in chuckles as everyone agreed that, yes, indeed, when mangos are in season, mango tree injuries increase in frequency.
I knew that motorcycles were dangerous, but I never imagined that morbidity from mango trees could occur with as much frequency and regularity as motorcycle accidents, at least during mango season.
And now you know how mango tress and motorocycles are related!