When I was living in Bamako I played in a band called "Bama Saba" as a guitarist. I earned enough money to feed myself and my family, back then in 1998. One day, I spent the day at a friend's house not too far away. We had a good time, and around midnight I went on my way home. I had been in his house quite a few times, so I knew the way, although there were no street lamps in our area.
So, knowing my way home, I put on my mp3 player and walked - and suddenly I fell. Boom. I found myself standing 7 feet deep in a hole. During the day, they had dug holes for lamp posts in the ground, didn't cover them at night, and I didn't see that when walking (mind you, I had bad eyesight even back then), So I tried to get out of the hole....phew....feet ok, but.....my left hand was strangely twisted, kind of loose, cut from the body. So I yelled for help. Soon people showed up, lifted me out of that hole and walked me home.
Back there my neighbor got his old Peugeot out and drove me to the biggest hospital in Bamako, called Gabriel Touré. Problem was - we arrived - nobody there. A guard told us that there's a power break and we should try tomorrow. A big hospital like that and no power ?!? Well, I didn't occupy myself with such questions since I was in pain, and after about 20 minutes in front of the hospital (what do we do now?) a sort of doctor came out and called me in. He said, sorry, we can't do anything, but here I have a carton I can attach to your arm as fixation. A cigarette carton and some strings.
Ok, what the hell. I went back home and slept, arm upright - less blood in the hand, less pain (actually that went on for 2 months). Next day my wife told me to see a traditional healer in a village close by since power didn't come back yet. I went there, the guy looked at my twisted hand and started to pull and push my hand to almost unconsciousness, then cut some bamboo and fixed that to my arm, using some Beurre Carité (a sort of oily substance you get from the Baobab tree).
My hand kept being twisted and swollen in a funny ankle (still is twisted today), but after some months the pain went - it just kind of grew together in some crooked angle, but no pain, no problem.
Of course I had to quit my job as musician, and therefore simply relied on my small income as German / English teacher, which I did at home on a blackboard.
But the point is: Never go to a hospital in Africa when you a) have cash to fly back home and when you b) are in one of those countries where people go to die anyway, because their hospitals are dirty and filthy. You go in sick, you get out dead. Stay out and wait until it heals by itself - depending on what it is....
When I had heavy malaria, my wife put a nail into the wall of the bedroom and an external nurse put the glucose infusion there. Hospital ? Never again in Africa - and even in Switzerland I'd panic ! We got stuff here we call "hospital virus" (HAI) - I can do without it :-)
I asked myself more than once where "development aid" goes. It doesn't even arrive at hospitals. It goes back to the World Bank as interest on credits which are paid to accounts of tyrannic rulers which are accepted by the West for geopolitical and economic reasons.
Sad world indeed.