Our clinic was held at Wangulu Friend’s church (Morman) that was established in 1916. I doubt the church building is original as it looks just like the others, but it is interesting that the Mormans were in Africa saving souls 100 years ago. It took a lot more than a couple of flights then to get to Kenya with a matatu to travel over-ground to this rural area of Kenya. What brave and faith-filled souls!
We arrived at the church at 7:45 am and started the clinic with the usual brief prayer service. This morning a woman from the church sang (what harmony she produced using her voice alone) while we clapped. Those who knew the words sang. During prayer, a loud female voice was heard shouting through the door (actually there were no doors just openings)…”Quit praying in there…there are sick people waiting out here”. Mmmm..point made!
Today we treated 648 patients in clinic, dressed 6 wounds, dewormed 315 children, and treated a number of jiggers patients.
The jiggers program is a large part of our public health program. The jigger sand flea was brought to Africa by the Europeans. It eats into the skin by direct contact. Those who have jiggers often have it on their feet, buttocks, elbows, knees, and sometimes the genitals. It eats away the flesh from the body making it difficult to eat and walk. You will see the infected persons crawling on the ground. But to make it more difficult, the community shuns and ridicules those with the disease as they believe they are unclean and lazy. The flea eggs lay in the cracks of broken floors and walls. If the floor is regularly smeared with cow dung, it becomes hard and shiny like concrete. The home is treated with disinfectant and an insecticide to rid the flea. It takes several treatments to be successful.
Today CNFA conducted a home visit to a jigger’s stricken family. There was one rickety chair in the house; no other furniture; and only rags to sleep on. The roof was partially collapsed and there was nowhere in the house one could keep dry from the rains. As it is impossible to leave a family in this situation, 2 volunteers from this organization arranged to have the roof repaired. Men from the community came immediately and started the repairs.
The children’s father came home when CNFA was there and he was also treated for jiggers. Attached is a photo showing our matatu driver comforting the children’s father while the latter accepts treatment for jiggers. This is such an example of the community caring for each other.
The children also received Robeez shoes to put on their treated feet. Thank you to our Canadian community who also shows that they care by donations of Robeez, Tylenols, children’s clothing, sanitary pads, toys, and all the things that make a mission like this successful. “Without you, we are helpless. Tomorrow, we travel to Kigami, North Maragoli.