Before I give you the day’s totals, I want to tell you a story, with permission from the victim. Our matatu and our car left the Sheywe yesterday on time to drive about 45 minutes to Chavakalli. After the car stopped at Barclay’s Bank, Gail receives a phone call from Sylvia that she had been left behind. She wants you to know how creative she was by borrowing a stranger’s phone and calling Gail to come back and get her. When we left this morning, guess who was one of the first in the matatu? Right!
Now for the day…we set up our clinic at a Friend’s Church in Vihalo. When we arrived, the clinic had already been set up with the different stations ready to go. Our helpers were selected and before the day was out, we had treated 831 patients, dressed 24 wounds, treated 100 persons for jiggers, and conducted two sexual health clinics.
Gail and Trish also met with the Public Health Office for our region. They were aware of our work and were happy to collaborate with us. They wanted us to provide our jiggers numbers to them. Public Health are using solutions that are ineffective for jiggers and because of that, they are actually digging the fleas out by hand. Potassium permanganate is very hard to get here as we heard that is used to make bombs. We learned that the Vihiga Public Health invite students from one of the Toronto Universities, a group named Students for International Development. The students actually go into the field and remove jiggers by hand from the patients. We were also able to confirm that the government provides funding to deworm the schools twice a year but no funding to clean up the water, restart bored wells, or protect springs.
We had an early dinner together tonight and it was early to bed for most. Last night, the power went out in our dinner building yet we still ended up with a meal. This morning, the lights were still out but the cook was worked with a flashlight held between his teeth.
On the road this morning, I saw a beggar with a hat that was so far past its ‘best by date’, it drew our attention. I couldn’t help but think that we pay extra for a ragged hat or jeans in North America. We actually pay to look poor. Take a close look at the ball in the hand of the child…it is made of shopping bags. We brought as many soccer balls with us as possible.