We held our tenth clinic of the mission at a Friends Church in Kedohi. If you are an old blog follower, you may remember that last year our van, after a very heavy early afternoon rain, left the church/school and nearly slid into a ditch. We all left the van in a rapid manner and refused to get in even after all the school children pushed the van back onto the road. We then walked to an intersection where the road became more passable.
As we drove this section, I was shocked at how far we had walked. I guess adrenalin can give you a little lift. Today as we closed the clinic, the black sky arrived and the rain started to fall. The veterans from last year yelled at everyone to hurry hurry!! We all piled into the 14 passenger van including the Kenyan nurses who didn’t want to be out in the storm. We counted 23 persons in the van including our medications. There is saying in Kenya that there is always room for one more but I think in our case we had reached the limit.
What a busy day! The lineups never seemed to decrease. We treated 1031 patients inside the clinic, dewormed over 600 children, two sexual health clinics, one home visit, 17 wounds, and sent 3 persons to hospital. In addition, we handed out toothbrushes to the younger children, soccer balls to the school, and pencils to the classroom teachers. When we closed the clinic, there were about 130 people left. We have asked them to come to tomorrow’s clinic. Many of them won’t be able to due to transportation.
Even being as busy as we are, the triage nurses do a great job handing pages from colouring books, crayons, baby clothes, hats, toy cars, balls, and anything else we have managed to store in the crevices of our suitcases.
There was a jigger’s station just outside the clinic today. We had a one month old baby with jiggers come through the clinic. The whole family was infected and thank heavens we were able to treat them. There is no treatment for jiggers in a Kenyan hospital. We have never been able to find out why. According to the government, there is no jiggers. I have included a photo of a little girl getting a blanket after being treated. We had a large number of these wonderful blankets donated to us this year and we have given them away to the poorest of the poor, including to other jiggers patients and some to an orphanage. The jigger’s patients need shoes. It costs about 500 shillings for a decent pair of sandals that will last ($7.50). One often sees people walking barefoot or with shoes so large they will never grow into them or so small their heels hand onto the ground when they walk.
Today I had a man approach me for money for his children. There was also a boy on Sunday after the service who knocked on the window of our van and asked for money as he was hungry. Yesterday at our jiggers clinic, a woman was too weak to walk home so we gave her a little money so she could buy food. The community workers wanted us to give her something to eat but the yard was full of children who were also hungry. These have been emotional moments for me. We all have our stories of what has moved us. I have published some of them in the blog. Some days, when we look at each other, we can see the tears just behind the eyes. If we let them out, we will never stop crying.
Now for something that made me laugh. I saw a man with sweater-jacket on the other day. He was working with me in registration and his jacket said, “York Hospital Emergency Services” with the name Blythe, RN. So Nurse Blythe, where ever you are, I know where your jacket went!!!
Talk to you tomorrow,