We had a successful day by treating 570 persons in the clinic. We are seeing poorer people in this area. In past years, we would treat around 900 to 1000 persons each day and have been wondering why our numbers are down. It is spring in Kenya and there is more food available this time of the year. Our Kenyan friends told us that we treat more persons in the spring because they will struggle to find food during the next few months and, as such, their immune systems become compromised and they become sick.
It still takes a lot of effort to provide treatment feven or the above numbers of people each day. In many ways, it has been a blessing as we have been trying to establish ongoing public health initiatives, such as providing latrines in schools, safe sources of water, and protecting natural springs. I had the opportunity to go to a natural spring today. We descended a muddy path approximately 40 metres down a slippery slope to a spring. At the bottom, we watched 2 young women fill their 5 gallon containers from the water pipe, swing them onto their heads, and ascend the muddy path using only small indentations in the soil to gain a foothold. This spring was already protected, but it lacked a fence to keep the animals away and stairs to provide safer access to and from the spring. The two girls will walk up to 2 kilometres to their homes with the water.
Canadian Nurses for Africa also dewormed two schools (approximately 1000 children) and gave each school a soccer ball for the boys and two skipping ropes for the girls. In addition, we operated a jiggers clinic at both schools. Four months ago, we provided funds for a jiggers clinic at one of the schools. At that time, over 100 children were treated for jiggers and todayonly 22 children required treatment. We also provided 3 home visits to persons unable to attend the clinic: two nurses and a doctor attended each home. We will try to provide a proper pair of crutches for an older female as the ones she has are several inches too tall for her. Guess what hurts more than her fractured leg: her armpits! Unfortunately, the crutches weren’t wooden. At the end of the day, 3 of our nurses and one of our drivers transported a small female child to hospital. She was eventually admitted with malaria.
Once at the hospital, we had to purchase a notebook for her medical records, pay for her lab work, and pay for the gloves and IV needed for her admittance. We will of course pay for her food and fees while she is there and transport her home. And here is another reality: our nurses saw a mother carrying her 8 year old son, who was close to death, in her arms down the hallways. And no one seemed to notice.
The rains came early today which gave the roads a chance to dry out. Other than slipping and sliding to and from the schools, our matatu managed to get us back to Kakamega, and picked up one of our doctors and 4 nurses on the way. As they say in Kenya, there is always room for one more.
Talk to you tomorrow,