Unfortunately, some of us were not off to a great start this morning. While I stayed home and puked my guts out, the rest of CNFA was off touching the lives of the community of Inegero. Here is a rendition of what I have been told.
The first timers of the group were feeling nervous, not really sure what to anticipate in terms of the setup, schedule or flow of the day. Since this was the first mission most of us had ever done, we had no baseline in terms of what to expect. However, with the help of our fearless leaders, we were brought up to speed quickly, and fell into the motions of triaging, dispensing meds and connecting with our patients. Every person was incredibly patient, had travelled far and was unbelievably thankful for the help we provided. This created an overwhelming sense of heartbreak but also the amazing feeling of being able to physically see your actual impact on a person’s life.
This clinic brought the first year of rapid diagnostic testing of malaria, which is a WHO best practice guideline, and is only possible due to the funding CNFA received this year. In the first day, 50% of the people tested were positive for malaria, and were able to be treated. However, the current treatment is a last resort for antimalarials, and we are worried about resistance to this drug.
CNFA provides funds for people to receive free healthcare, medication, hospitalization, diagnostic imaging and transfers to different medical facilities. We see arms that have been broken months before and set badly, kids that are so sick their families have to carry them in, wounds that have gone long without cleansing and people without clothes on their backs or shoes on their feet.
The first day we treated 566 people in 8 hours.