There is nothing quite like having your own personal hype man to generate such an uplifting and positive energy to start off the day. Solomon is truly a rockstar. He gets the community psyched to see us, and us incredibly excited to start seeing patients! There is nothing quite like chanting, clapping, singing and praising to get the day rolling. It is also incredibly heartwarming to hear from people in the community about how the work that we do genuinely affects them in a positive way. It just goes to show that kindness and generosity spread!
Wangulu was a very interesting community to be a part of. We had the chance to work in a lovely church that was probably the second largest one that we have been in since clinic day 1. This church had light bulbs and access to electricity, which is not seen in many of the places we have visited so far.
It has been very interesting picking the minds of the Kenyan nurses to find out information about what it is like to study as a nurse in Kenya and what it entails that is similar and different from home. Victor, one of the Kenyan nursing students who works with CNFA, was doing research on the continuity of care in hypertensive patients. So, he told us to be on the lookout for 5 patients that would qualify. We managed to find 5 in a little over an hour… some with blood pressures in the 200’s systolically which was pretty impressive.
I think Victor was getting stressed out that we kept asking him to clarify things our patients had said, so he taught us some quick words in Swahili to help the process along. The main one that I can remember is uchungu, which means pain. From there, it is fairly easy to then point to said pain and figure it out.
We saw some overwhelming heartbreaking but inspiring things today. One was an elderly woman who had been brought to the clinic by her family who were trying to make her more comfortable. This woman had suffered a stroke, was aphasic, bedbound, contracted and was deteriorating quickly. She was rushed in to the front of the line and seen by the clinical officers quickly. Palliative care was determined as her choice, and the family was then provided with education on making her more comfortable, turning schedules, nutrition and pain management.
I also managed to turn into an instant celebrity by breaking out in dance in front of a group of Kenyan people, who unbeknownst to me, were filming it. If I don’t make it onto YouTube after that, then my life is over.
Overall, we saw a total of 728 patients today. That is not counting the large amounts of children that we dewormed who did not need to be registered. It just goes to show how essential these clinics are in order to care for these communities!