Thursday, January 7, 2010

Medical Camp Recaps

The day before Day 1 of the clinic, April and I went to the chemist (the pharmacy) to retrieve medications with Dr. Charles. When Kenyans say that it will take about 1 hour, what they really mean is that it will take 8 hours. In Kenya, every price is negotiable. So not only did we have a huge order that the chemist had to run around all day to get our mass quantities, we also had to haggle for a price. Luckily, Dr. Charles did all the talking. April did the dispensing of our money and I was just there for moral support... or maybe not even that... i guess to give April some company haha. We got to the chemist around 11am and we stayed there until 4pm... leaving Dr. Charles behind to wait on our order. Dr. Charles didn't leave the chemist until 8pm when we picked him up. We still had to wait another 30 minutes while they tied the boxes shut with string.

Thankfully, God has graced me prior to this trip with patience. That's the name of the game in this trip... flexibility and patience and not to mention great bartering skills.

Day 1 of the clinic was Friday and we were all trying to get into the groove of things. We started off with April, Kristin (our wonderful RX helper/savior from TX) and Jim in the pharmacy, Paul as a pre-exam (triage), and yours truly as a check-in/medical records recorder. Thankfully, there was a translator with me while recording information. The clinic ran fairly slow with patients due to Kaisha the night prior (Kaisha was the all night prayer/celebration of the new year). So many people were resting and recovering. This was a good day for us since we were trying to figure out how to run things smoothly and get comfortable with our positions.

Day 2 of the clinic was Saturday and we saw a variety of people and saw 61 patients with over 200 prescriptions filled. We saw several malnourished and dehydrated babies. They were given oral re hydrating salts and some antibiotics. The process of the day was better than day one. We were very thankful for the Kenya Medical Support we had and the Kenyan translators. While many of the patients speak English we wanted to make sure they understood the importance of their medications and their sicknesses.

Day 3 of the clinic was on Monday. We saw another 61 patients and filled 250 prescriptions. Pastor Shaddrack told me that there was a clinic that visited Mitumba not that long ago and they were giving expired medications, so many people were at first weary of our clinic. Shaddrack said that now that the initial patients were starting to get better with all of their prescriptions, others let their guards down and started coming to the clinic. We do not and will never bring expired medications for our clinic. People will know when they see GOYA Medical Clinic that it will be good, safe, and for the well being of the patients.

Day 4 of the clinic was on Tuesday. There were another 50 patients seen and over 240 prescriptions filled. We had to move the location of the pharmacy this day because we had originally been in a classroom. School started this day and we moved to their dining hall. This was great because we arranged the tables to be within arm reach of everyone. Kristin, Jim, Paul, and April could easily access everything. We saw people who were coming for more antibiotics even though they had already been through the clinic before. They were just looking for the bottles we were giving the medication inside. This was irritating because some mothers who had sick children were at the clinic for the first time did not get a number so they were never seen. We had been working all week for 2 hours a night by torches (flashlights) because there was no electricity in the buildings we were in. Tonight we were in a building with light however there was no fuel for the generator because it was used up the night of Kaisha. Shadrack wanted us done by dark and told the mothers they had 4 other days to bring their children to the clinic rather than on Tuesday night at 3pm. We understood that we had to be done before dark b/c the placement of this building did not allow for the moons light to be used. It was completely pitch black where we were located.

Day 5 was to be for the children only!!!! We were to only dispense medications for de-worming. Violet (the School Administrator) made this very clear. But guess what....mothers sent their green snotty nosed, high fevered, dehydrated, cut, scraped, sick children to school. So you know what that means... WE and I mean WE saw more patients. When Dr. Charles was at the clinic for the 5th day with us, that meant people wanted to be seen. With each child we sent for their mothers and they had all been to the clinic. April and Dr. Charles asked each mother why they had not given the medicine we prescribed to their children during the clinic. The mothers each gave different reason. As Americans we look at this and get a little irritated. Why do they not care for their children, why do they not give the medication? The answer is simple in their eyes: "Because I need to use it when they are more sick because I can not afford to give it every time." We just gave them grace and gave them more medicine.
Another patient today was myself...While having a tour inside the slum with April and Kristin I sliced my baby toe on a rock. I was such a brave girl :) The children all crowded around me while it was being cleaned by Paul. The children looked on with excitement, scared, and quizzy faces. In all actuality I wanted to send them all away and back to their classes but I didn't.
April and I walked back to the YMCA and she used her First-Aid Survival skills she has just taken in school and finished in October. She removed some of my skin (big flap people, big flap), cleaned it, took out tiny pebbles, put on Bacitracin ointment, Hydrogen Peroxide, and a band aid. The best part was that God numbed my foot the whole time. I was thankful for that. As April says, "that will leave a mark!

Thank You all for your prayers and support for this Medical Mission Trip. We saw over 650 people which includes the children's exams and over 1,000 prescriptions were written and dispensed. It was a very hard and rewarding 5 days, but we did it! Asanti Sana Everyone!

Keep the Faith,
Dr. Stacy

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