Another clinic in the books. This has been our busiest and most attended so far this mission with well over 600 attending and these numbers don’t include the Jiggers clinics that are held.
Today was so busy there was little opportunity to take a lot of pictures but we did manage a few.
Let’s talk hypertension. Todays clinc mimicked a hypertension clinic. So many of the patients we see have such high blood pressure I’m surprised we don’t see more strokes than we do. We’re talking 220/118, 210/1115, crazy high. The majority of these clients are older but there are young ones too. One would think that with the physical labour they do, and having to walk everywhere, it would be a reasonable number. But they have such poor diets, their risk factor increases due to poor nutrition, and the African person is more prone to hypertension. Treatment is sporadic since they may only purchase medications when they have the funds, decide to not take treatment, or there may also be some rationing of meds occurring to make them last longer.
We sent a few patients. One young girl, 11 yrs old, with a congenital heart defect. She requires medication to keep her condition stable and also requires surgery….but they cannot afford it. She hasn’t had any medication for quite some time and her condition has deteriorated, although we believe she is still able to attend school. She has had consults but its a matter of “come back for the surgery when you have the money.” Such a contrast to Canada and how privileged we are that we have all these options open to us and we dont blink an eye. The disparity is so evident here
We also had a fellow with a head wound/injury, 2-4weeks old that was infected. It was so bad even veteran nurses were horrified and…let’s just say…grossed out. The wound was what we call “full thickness”….right to the bone…skull bone. Needless to say he will be having surgery to debride (clean) it. He also had an infected hand laceration sustained at the same time as the head wound. The wonderment in this story is that he did go get treatment initially, including stitches…but did they clean any dirt from the wound first. We don’t know if there was a skull fracture but it would not surprise me, unfortunately they don’t have CT or MRI capabilities in this area, just plain x-rays.
The end of the day finally came and our Kenyan colleagues, Sarah & Jane, presented us with colorful lengths of African material that can be worn as a wrap. A great ending to the day….except for the shower after we got back…that was a great end to the day. HAPPY NURSE’S WEEK.