May 12, 2023: Hamadira

Clinic 11...done and dusted. Another mission in the books. We are hot, tired, grubby, grateful to be able to help but ready for a rest. We saw just over 400 people today, sending one person to hospital with a severe case of malaria. Not much to say today, alot of mixed emotions to be leaving. We had to vacate the van to gain more clearance entering the clinic site. Jerry as always is supervising. Referring to the wound care bag as her tickle trunk she has been dubbed Mrs. Dressing Up. Triage Our audience. Data tracking. Lynn receiving a work of art. Registration This made Fatima's day. Jane, Kenyan nurse partner Abel, Clinical Officer L-R Tenga and Isaac Clinical Officers Sarah, Beatrice and Brenda, Kenyan nurse partners Our registration crew I would like to introduce you to Patti Harbman NP-PHC, MN, PhD. She has jumped in with both feet and has done an exemplary job. Planning is already underway for next year's mission and new ideas on how we can continue to serve the people of Vihiga County. She wouldn't stand still long enough to have her picture taken. I would like to leave you with words from Jerry, our country organizer extraordinaire. Jerry has…

Continue ReadingMay 12, 2023: Hamadira

May 11, 2023: Monoywa

Clinic #10. It's been a long haul...the train is almost into the station, nearing the end of the line. Social tanks are overcapacity emotional tanks are running on fumes and capacity for lots of noise has diminished. One more clinic to go. I for one am thankful for my own room here at the Shewye, to have some quiet time to recharge....and write this blog. I'm pretty sure their are others in The Squad that feel the same way. Today's clinic site was probably the smallest of them far, well see what tomorrow brings It's a Catholic church with a school attached to it. The med station is standing room only since we have to use the concrete alter as a table top. Triage is in one corner just beside the registration table by the door and the Clinical Officers are on the opposite wall. There is very little space for the patients, the benches are narrow, rickety and can tip over quite easily. Wound care was squeezed into a corner by the med station. Lighting was at a premium, the room lit only by the windows. Working in such close proximity to everyone makes me thankful for the work space I have at…

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May 10, 2023: Viyalo

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. It stayed this way allllllll day. 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…

Continue ReadingMay 10, 2023: Viyalo

May 9, 2023: Kedohi Friends

I should call this blog Tails From Beneath the Net, since I write this at night in my bed all tucked in under the mosquito net...usually. Beneath the Net Today we headed to Kedohi Friends School for our clinic. When schools are in we will do deworming, if the government hasn't already done it (and they haven't) and hold sexual health classes for the girls at the school. There may be a boys class too, but mainly this is for the girls. It provides information on how they can protect themselves and empower them. Many girls will have had their first pregnancy in their teens, babies looking after babies. During this class reusable sanitary pads are also handed out. Since menstrual products are so expensive and unaffordable girls don't attend school for at least a week per month as they don't have any products to use to contain the flow. Missing that much school they fall behind and eventually will drop out. The provision of feminine hygiene products enables them to remain in school. The pads we take are donated by a group of sewers in Saskatchewan, our thanks and gratitudego out to these sewers. The line that greeted us this morning. Zandra handing out…

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May 8, 2023: Chavakali

As we go into clinic #7 I would like to wish The Squad and all our colleagues a Happy Nurses Week. I have had the privilege of working with so many amazing nurses in my career and the squad is no different. You all ROCK!! The Squad +4 We clean up nice. Today at Chavakali we saw over 400 people. The clinics have been fairly consistent in numbers. This week we will be able to go to the schools to provide services. Last week the schools were on break. Please note that there are graphic images that follow in this blog. At clinic today there were 4 burns that were attended to...several days old burns. Some had gone to hospital but are only dressed with gauze and sent on their way. Without proper care the wounds can become infected, and will heal with a lot of scarring, disfigurement, and can impact function and mobility, which in turn impacts employability. Young children are at high risk for burns due to the open fires that are used for cooking and hot water spills are also common. Several day old burn from hot water on a young child. He will return to clinic during the week to have…

Continue ReadingMay 8, 2023: Chavakali

May 7, 2023: A Little R & R

Today was our day off and yay...we got to sleep in...or so we thought...0530 there was the daily call to prayer sounds (this happens every morning), followed by early morning worship services in the vicinity. It was almost like we had surround sound and it was very loud and lasted a few hours. Sound on for worship Part of our group went to Kisumu and visited the Masai Market, Hippo tours and then to pick up a small supply of meds that we had run out of. The other half stayed at the Shewye and took care of some administrative stuff and relaxed. Much to our hippos. Our guide said that where there are hippos there is fish, so they go there and scare them away so they can fish. There was also alot of activity with an number of vendors hawking their wares and visitors to the beach, so may have also deterred the hippos from making their presence known. It was nice to be on the water, a bit cooler with a nice breeze, hippos. We should have saved the market for after and did our retail therapy after the disappointment. Masai Market Masai Market Ahoy me mateys Kenyan boat…

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May 6, 2023: Igunga

Today we reach the midpoint of our stay. We're all tired, ready for a break. Clinic went smoothly enough but busy. Jiggers clinic also saw several people. From a bit of research I have read Jiggers is more prevalent in the Vihiga district with some hot zones. I believe we have hit a few of these hot zones in the past 3-4 days. The following link is to a blog spot on Jiggers for those of you who would like to read a bit more about it. It's an easy read, not technical in nature, and reasonably short. And written by a reputable source. Todays clinic was a "half day", yet we still saw over 400 patients. Following clinic we had a staff appreciation picnic. This included all of us (Jeff, Jerry, Johnstone and Evans are included in the 'us'), the Kenyan nurses, clinical officers, and the community workers. The picnic was held on the grounds of a local resident and we thank them for allowing us to invade their yard. It was a beautiful day, beautiful surroundings, turkeys and all, and everyone enjoyed their time.

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May 5, 2023: Wangulu

Today was a day that my get up and go, got up and went, so I stayed behind to get some needed rest and did not attend clinic. By reports from the returning squad it sounds like they had a good day, with less chaos. The location had more space so everything flowed smoother and they saw over 570 patients, with only a couple of hospital visits. The weather has been good to us with the rain coming in sporadic moments. It has been sunny and hot, but there was a breeze today which made it a bit more tolerable at clinic. Rain at the Shewye Team Member Intro: meet Carmella. Carmella is probably the quietest of the squad. Absorbing all the sites and sounds around us she is keen to participate, thorough, studious, and willing to learn. Underneath that quiet exterior there hides a wit and sense of humor though. This is Carmella's first mission. The rest of today's blog will consist of photos taken by the squad, of todays clinic. You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Priscilla, our wound care expert, and other duties as assigned. Jennifer, triaging the littles. Tanya, triaging more littles. The med squad…

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May 4 2023: Wodanga Chavuli

Today was a regular start to our day, with no early meetings to attend we arrived at our clinic site on time. Todays clinic opened with drumming and singing. Always a nice greeting first thing in the morning. Here is a short snippet. Solomon leading the drums Chaos. Chaos seemed to be what our day was like. The clinic location was a smaller building and everyone was cramped inside with not much room to maneuver, there was lots of activity happening inside, and outside where a Jiggers clinic was occurring. We saw over 400 people today, and it seemed like every baby from the village was there and all of them were crying, a lot of busyness and noise. We sent a few people to hospital today and had a home visit and that patient will be sent to hospital tomorrow. We like to call it organized chaos. Carmella assisting Johnstone with Jiggers treatment and administering Albendazole, a deworming treatment. Extremely poor water quality and worms are a big problem. Again organized chaos happening outside. Lynn at her finest, she loves the children. She admitted to causing some chaos during clinic today. Another happy person getting her reading glasses. You can see the line up…

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May 3, 2023: Itegara

Today we had a bit of an earlier start as the whole team was to meet with the Governor of Vihiga County. This is the county that CNFA visits every year, holding medical camps in 11 villages. They reviewed health care programs that had been established since coming into office. Included are maternal & child care, communicable diseases & immunizations, and the training of community health volunteers. Also discussed was the possibility of working in collaboration with CNFA to provide services. The meeting concluded with a photo op with the governor, his administration and the team outside. This led to a late start at our clinic. Government Offices. Entry gate, Office of the Governor The clinic was a busy one, seeing over 500 people. It was wound care day for sure having several during the day. The type of wounds we see here we only see in Canada in very exceptional circumstances...if ever. Jiggers is also an ever present problem in these villages. A sand flea that burrows and causes soft tissue destruction. What I am astonished by is that they live with these wounds for months, sometimes getting periodic (should I say substandard) dressing changes, yet they they don't seem to get septic, which…

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May 2, 2023: Budaywa

Apologies for the delayed post. After taking the scenic route (read took a wrong turn) we arrived at our clinic site more or less on time. A small contingent to greet us, and the ever present Solomon. Clinic was set up and the people came. Today brought joy and gratefulness from our patients, and a few tears for our nurses. We saw approx. 540 patients. The Gift of Vision: As with any other health care needs of the people we see, eye exams and prescription eye glasses are beyond their means. Every year we bring non-prescription reading glasses and are well received. This year we brought over 400 pair. We are very thankful for the donation of these glasses, and the generosity of our donors. When assessing the recipient a bible is used. Today a gentleman received a pair of glasses and cried when he was able to read it. Or the huge smiles when they put on the glasses. A nurse or two may or may not have also shed a tear or two. Thank you Acton Optical Pleased as punch One of our team, Fatima, had the opportunity to do a home visit today. In January the patient had fallen and sustained a…

Continue ReadingMay 2, 2023: Budaywa

Day 1: Part 2

May 1, 2023 Kigama Friend's Church, our first clinic post Covid. A lot of mixed emotions going into day 1, that of excitement, anticipation, perhaps some fear or trepidation, a fear of the unknown maybe. Some things were much the same since 2019, yet some things were different....and missing. What was the same? The abject poverty we see, in contrast to the happiness and faith the people have remains constant. Another constant is Solomon....the ever present community go getter. Solomon greeted us this morning with his usual exuberance and happiness and gratefulness. We were welcomed with wide open arms, many hugs and greetings were really warms the heart. Solomon . What's different? Progress in the construction of Kigama Friend's Church was beyond noticeable. It has been completed. The community has been busy over the past 3 years. The floors are done, the walls are painted and the windows installed. When last we saw it, there were dirt floors, concrete walls and lots of lumber lying around. Lookin' sharp Kigama. Crowd already waiting. What's Missing? Or more like who's missing. Winnie, one of our valued Kenyan team members who passed away in 2020. She is missed. Solomon paid tribute to her memory with a moment…

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Prep Day

Busy day for the squad today. Following a hearty breakfast we made a road trip to Kisumu for our medication order, a side trip to the Masai Market for some, and back to Shewye for unloading, sorting and getting bags ready for Day 1 of clinic. Shewye full breakfast...IG worthy? Fresh avocado anyone...wonder how much guacamole that would make? Our med order was packaged a bit differently this year. Due to Covid regulations all meds are now individually packaged rather than in bulk containers. This resulted in 125 boxes that needed to be loaded into a matatu...or 3. When your matatu has a sunroof... It's like a game of Tetris. Trish killing time... a little run in with the neighbors clothesline. While the boxes were being loaded Lynn and I had the opportunity to visit the pharmacy's neighbour, Bright Makenzi and his family. Bright runs a Lab Services business. One of the tests he performs is malaria testing. They have seen a rise in malaria cases this year, and this is something CNFA is able to provide treatment for during our mission. Malaria can cause severe illness and can be fatal if not treated. Those at highest risk are pregnant women, young children and infants,…

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More Planes, Trains & Automobiles

To quote The Proclaimers "I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more..." in our case over 16,000 km to get to our final destination... you do the math...(we would walk how many ??? miles .... "). The day of departure started with a few tense moments, and tears, for one of our squad with the fear she would not make it. She gathered herself together and through the power of prayer, our travel agent & her husband she arrived and the group was whole. After a few bumps checking in our bags, the shenanigans of going through security, with a bag or two segregated....which will be referred to from here on in as the contraband bags (who knew a stethoscope would be cause for segregation) we all made it on board for the first leg of our journey.  Destination...Heathrow, London. After a short layover, on to Nairobi for the night. The Squad Two flights, 12 nurses,  36 (+/-) suitcases, 1 bus ride and a partridge in a pear tree, we all arrived safely.  After all that, only one bag went astray...Patti may have to pillage our bags until her bag catches up with us, hopefully Monday, but no guarantees. If anyone is…

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Ready for Departure – Mission 2023: Post Pandemic

As we finalize our packing, review our checklists, sit on that suitcase to get it closed....our team is in the final stretches of readying themselves for departure, and are extremely excited. Tomorrow will be a day of emotion...for those who are reuniting once again to carry out our mission and for those who will be joining us for the first time. Some may be experiencing some anxieties or trepidation, uncertainty of what to expect, but mostly excitement at being able to see our wonderful friends and colleagues in Kenya. Some will be able fulfill some life long career and life goals, to provide some measure of help and hope to those who do not have the ability to obtain the necessary care that they need. The first few days or our journey will be long full days of travel... think plains, trains, and automobiles...well maybe not trains but you get the idea. We depart at 1835 hours April 27, least that's what my ticket says, from Toronto to Nairobi. Some of our team will have a longer day as they travel from their homes across the country. We have some members scattered around southern Ontario and a western contingent coming from Alberta. I will…

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2023 Mission

The final countdown is on for our 2023 Mission. Merely 3 more sleeps until we depart. Are we excited??? Heck yes!! Some trepidation? Probably. After 3 years of not being able to provide care to the people of the Vihiga District what is in store for us remains a mystery. I anticipate that our clinic numbers will be over 1000, but we will have to wait and see. As we travel to our location the first few blogs will be an introduction to our 2023 team. We have 12 nurses participating this year, all very experienced, willing and excited.

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The 2023 Mission

At the time of writing, late July 2022, we are planning to proceed with our next mission in late April 2023. Naturally, many factors must be considered in making this decision, COVID-19 and Monkeypox being the primary concerns. The safety of nurses travelling to Kenya to work, as well as the risks posed by congregating large numbers of people visiting our clinics must be balanced with the needs of those seeking the medical care we provide. We are fortunate to have a member of our advisory board with advanced training in infectious disease to help guide us in making these important decisions. We will be selecting the next team of nurses in early September, giving priority to nurses who were accepted to the last mission that was cancelled due to COVID restrictions.

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2nd COVID-19 Food Distribution now complete!

The 2nd COVID Food Distribution Program has completed! Thank you to every single person who donated and allowed us to exceed our goal and providing basic food to 1,226 families, as well as 101 elderly and disabled in their homes! Check out the Projects Page for more info!

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*New Project Alert* CNFA’s COVID-19 Food Distribution Program

On Monday, June 29th, CNFA launched the COVID-19 Food Distribution Program in our communities around Vihiga. Thank you so much for your donations, and a special shout out to our amazing Kenyan teammates helping to prepare and distribute the food! Check out our Projects page for more info!

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Clinic Day 11 – Hamadira – Izava South

Our last day! This morning the tables turned and we sang and danced for the people of Kenya before clinic - with our lead singer Harriet. It was a very busy and steady clinic with the line being all the way out the door all day long. Today Johnstone, Karen, Laura and I treated this family for jiggers and supplied them with clothing and shoes. The mother of these children is only 30 years old and has a total of 14 children. Every day she goes out in the community looking for any work she can find so that she can provide for her family. Our clinic was so dark inside with no power that Harriet and Kristen had to do wound care outside. We finished off our last night in Kenya with a big buffet dinner from the owners of the Sheywe Guest House. It was so good that Marie went back for thirds. And maybe fourths, I lost count. Of course we had to end our dinner with Jerry singing the Hakuna Matata song that we all love. Oh Jer Bear!!

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Clinic Day 10 – Homanoywa – Izava North

Today we transferred a 60 year old lady with an injured ankle to the hospital.  Marie and Karen dewormed over 300 students at the primary school.  Kenyan nurses Roselyne and Sarah and volunteer worker Joyce taught us how to reggae was quite the show, highly entertaining but we clearly have zero rhythm.  With one clinic day remaining, we had a blast today singing and dancing with all of the patients who came through triage!

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Clinic Day 9 – Kedohi – West Maragoli

Our clinic today was in the same yard as an elementary school so we had a lot of children running around, we even tried to teach them how to do the “floss” dance. Victor and I went on two home visits - one to see an elderly man who had fractured his femur and had two surgeries back in December and needed pain control, and the other to see a young 6 year old boy who is a known epileptic and has had a decreased appetite for the last few days. He also has weekly follow up appointments at the Mbale Hospital.  We finally found the perfect lucky lady for the St. Paddy’s Day hat, scarf and socks. This lady was so happy about her new pants that she had tears in her eyes!

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Clinic Day 8 – Viyalo – Chavakali

Today Laura, Harriet and I went to the school next door to deworm many children from kindergarten to grade 8. We had three of the cutest albino children at the clinic today - gave them all new donated sun hats and bought them sunglasses as their biggest complaint was the sun being too hard on their eyes.  Here is Jerry modeling some sunglasses. Laura and I brought a brand new soccer ball to the school but decided we didn’t feel like getting a soccer ball to the face today so we played duck duck goose instead. This lady loved her new dress! More wound care! Nancy had a very busy day with hospital transfers - one of them being a lady who had elevated LFTs and needed an ultrasound. She also played a game of “touch the mzungu” meaning white person, with a little boy. 

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Clinic Day 7 – Chavakali

Happy Nurses Week! Here we are doing what we do best - playing cards. After a well deserved day off, it was hard to get up this morning - I was definitely the walking dead for a few minutes. We started the morning off with our daily seagull selfie. At triage, Meaghan had half her hair ripped out by a 7 month old.  Laura, Gail and I fixed this lovely lady with a new hat and matching scarf - she was so happy. Kristen, Karen and Meaghan dewormed many children at a nearby school. Throughout the mission we’ve tried to master the African way of carrying large objects on your head. Update on the bug zoo in Laura and I’s room - there’s no update, we’re too afraid to check.

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“What direction are we going?” “South north”

Since it was our day off, we split up into two groups - half of us went to the Kakamega rainforest and the other half to the crying stone and Lake Victoria to see the hippos. In the rainforest we saw lots of monkeys, Isiukhu falls and a beautiful high point overlooking 270 square kilometres of untouched forest. Thankfully we were too blessed to be stressed and I didn’t get swallowed by a giant snake. 

Continue Reading“What direction are we going?” “South north”

Clinic Day 6 – Igunga – Chavakali

We were dropping like flies today - three members of our dream team had to stay back from clinic because they were sick but at least they had the toilet to keep them company.  Jerry started off morning prayer by reading the bible for us today.  Being Saturday, it was a shorter clinic day. We treated about 360 people. We had a lot of children at the clinic today so we gave out lots of clothing and toys, as well as colouring pictures.  We treated a lot of wounds again today - many of which were returns from previous clinics throughout the week.  Marie and I treated a wound of a young woman who got into an argument with her husband who had cut her with a knife. It was a pretty deep cut that originally needed stitches but being that it happened a few days ago, an infection had started. We cleansed and dressed it with silver cell and told her to come back to our clinic on Monday. 

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Clinic Day 5 – Kigama – North Maragoli

Today’s clinic started off a little slow but by the afternoon we had a huge wave of people come through, as well as another torrential downpour. At one point Jeff tried to put the wound care bucket on Marie’s head to shield her from the rain. Here is our Mama Gail hiding from the rain in her Maasai blanket. Hilary fixed two little girls with all new outfits. It was a day filled with wound care that was tackled by Harriet, Hilary, Victor, Marie and Kristen - we had 9 wounds cleansed and dressed. Two of which were returns - one was the same little girl, Faith, who we’ve been seeing all week for a bad burn to her arm and the other was a young man who came to our clinic last year after he’d fallen off his motorcycle. His arm has much improved since we first saw him one year ago.  Faith drew some pictures and wrote a letter thanking everyone for helping treat her - she is the sweetest little girl and so grateful. Laura and I spent the entire day at triage singing “you, over here, you, over here!” - it was a 50/50 shot on who we made laugh and…

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Clinic Day 4 – Wangulu – West Maragoli

Nancy and Kristen went on a home visit to treat an elderly lady who had a severe case of jiggers. On the way back they got their monthly workout in pushing the matatu that was stuck teeter tottering on a hill.  Harriet went to the hospital to admit a 7 year old boy with malaria who was febrile and had a seizure at home.  Lynn, Hilary and Kenyan nurse Sarah taught 40 girls about sexual health and gave them all reusable sanitary pads.  Kristen didn’t think the outhouses were bad enough so she decided to break the door off the hinges.  This is Gail with a family who gave her a live chicken as a gift to say thank you. Update 4.0: the cockroach is still under the garbage can but a moth that’s the size of a dragon joined him so it’s not so lonely. 

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Clinic Day 3 – Chavuli Pag Wodanga

Today Meaghan, Hilary and Johnstone went to three homes for jiggers treatments where they sprayed down the homes and clothing of the families and soaked their hands and feet in potassium permanganate to rid the jiggers. They also fitted the family with all new clothing.  Meaghan and Patti also went on another home visit to treat an elderly lady with cellulitis. As they were heading there, Laura asked “where are you going?” And Kenyan nurse Jane responded with “on safari!!” Marie, Harriet and I played soccer for at least two hours with 150 kids who were just booting the ball wherever and whenever they could - it was less of a game of soccer and more of a game of dodge the ball that’s coming straight for your face. At one point I subbed out with Meaghan who said “I don’t want to get hit in the face again this year” but then continued to join the game anyways. Today was Karen and Kristen’s birthdays and Hilary found out she got a new job so we celebrated with some tuskers (shocker) and cake.  We ended our clinic day with a 6km walk through the village with the locals where Victor pushed Laura and I in…

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Clinic Day 2 – Budaywa – Basali East

Laura and I slept in Kenya’s finest waterbeds last night after we left the windows open during dinner and a torrential downpour flooded our room. Today Harriet and Johnstone went on two home visits to do jiggers treatments.  Laura and Victor went on a home visit to see an older man with a leg wound who couldn’t make it to the clinic. They cleansed and dressed it and gave him supplies to do the dressing himself. They’ll follow up with him on Thursday. Heading to and from clinic in the matatu can get pretty bumpy so Nancy decided to use a soccer ball as a helmet.  Hilary and Kristen were in charge of wound care at the clinic today.  Meaghan handed out a pair of shoes to the cutest little girl who loved showing them off.  Update 2.0: Kristen’s bag finally arrived so no more borrowing donated underwear and Laura can have all of her razors back.  Update 3.0: the cockroach is still under the garbage can under Laura’s bed. 

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Clinic Day 1 – Isitsi Salvation Army Izava South

We started our day one of clinics in the village of where Solomon greeted us with song and prayer as he does every morning. Marie and Nancy had their first experience with the outdoor toilets aka holes in the ground - “they were better in the morning, you need to breath through your mouth” - Marie  and I and Kenyan nurse Rosaline assessed and handed out reading glasses to 34 people. Lynn and Kristen and Kenyan nurse Sarah taught sexual health to a classroom full of school girls.  Hilary and Marie went on a hospital transfer with 4 patients to a hospital that was about 2km away from our clinic. Two of the patients were very young with bad burns, one that was a burn that happened two years ago that we dressed and the other was a young boy who was admitted and will receive IV antibiotics. Another patient was a teenager with a swollen knee joint that was dislocated and eventually casted and the fourth patient was a young pregnant woman who was having abdominal pain.  While at the hospital, Hilary and Marie also got to “scrub in” and see a pericardial thoracentesis.  Update on Kristen’s luggage: it still hasn’t arrived but thankfully we…

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“I’ll have the vegetable curry for dinner – something new and different”

Today Karen was off to a good start when she locked herself in her room, unable to find her key and then had no running water to shower or even use the toilet.  Laura and I had a nice night with our bunk mate the cockroach that slept under Laura’s bed who we trapped under the garbage can. Today we made the short trek to Kisumu to pick up our medications at the local chemist and visit the Maasai Market for souvenirs. The bug bites and heat had Laura and I yelling “What do we want?”   “Ankles!” “When do we want them?” “NOW!”  Once we got back to the Sheywe, we sorted through all of our supplies and made piles for our 11 days of clinics. It was a long process so of course we did it with tuskers in hand.

Continue Reading“I’ll have the vegetable curry for dinner – something new and different”

“I was worried about the bus at the Rosa Mystica”

Jambo! Well, after 22+ hours of planes, trains and automobiles (thank you gravol courtesy of Nancy and wine courtesy of Lufthansa airlines for making me feel like Annie from bridesmaids seeing colonial women on the wing of the plane), we’ve finally made it to Kenya. Although we’re 13 women with 439 suitcases, unfortunately Kristen’s bag got delayed in Frankfurt and won’t be arriving until at least Monday - but thankfully Laura packed enough razors for all of Kenya. After a stop on the way to check out the views of the Great Rift Valley and to grab some KFC and iced coffee in Nakuru (which had Marie and Patti asking the all important questions of “is this okay to drink?” and “will this give us diarrhea?”, our bus broke down and we had to do a quick swap for a matatu in Kisumu. Just picture stuffing 16 people into a van.  It’s safe to say that we were all ready for some tuskers when we finally got to the Sheywe.

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Final Numbers for 2018 Mission

Hey everyone! As promised, here is the final count for the total number of people seen and treated through the 11 days of clinics of the 2018 mission. We saw a total of 5,823 people in 11 clinic days. This number does not include the 315 people we treated for jiggers, the 181 people who were tested positive for malaria and treated for, the 90 wounds treated, the 405 young girls taught sexual education and given reusable sanitary pads, the 1,559 kids dewormed, and the 411 people given reading glasses. We also did 12 home visits and sent 19 people to the hospital for further treatment. We could not have made this mission possible without the help from our sponsors as well as all of the generous donations from all of you. On behalf of the 2018 CNFA team, we are so thankful and grateful for the support from your donations - you were all just as much a part of this mission!

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Last Day of Clinics – Day 11 at Hamadira

When the water works hit you like a tonne of bricks. I’m happy to report that I wasn’t the only one crying on the last day of clinics this year. Throughout the day we had a giant game of soccer and frisbee going simultaneously with all of the kids from the school - basically you had to run around dodging a soccer ball and frisbee from hitting you in the head.             Ingrid, Barb, Karen and I dewormed over 100 kids.                     We finished off our mission with a buffet dinner at the Sheywe - with all of our favourite foods from our two weeks stay - the staff knew us well. The night wasn’t complete until Jer Bear sang Hakuna Matata for us. I think it’s safe to say we all left part of our hearts with the people of Kenya - I definitely found mine right where I left it last year. Stay tuned for an update on the total number of people seen and treated in all 11 days of clinics.  

Continue ReadingLast Day of Clinics – Day 11 at Hamadira

Clinic Day 10 at Homanoywa

When I say north you say pole! Solomon started off our morning with a prayer where he thanked his friends from “the North Pole.” We had a good laugh to start off our second last day of clinics.               Priscilla went on a hospital transfer with a 7 year old girl who had a broken and dislocated elbow. She had X-rays done, her elbow reduced and placed in a cast.                 Laura, Meaghan, and Becca went with Johnstone to a school and treated 20 kids for jiggers.             Pictured below is the girls latrines that CNFA built for this school in 2014.           Today we saw a total of 559 people, along with a total of 82 jiggers treatments, 2 jiggers home visits, 300 children dewormed, gave 39 pairs of reading glasses, taught 40 young girls about sexual education and gave reusable sanitary pads, sent 2 people to the hospital for further treatment, treated 4 wounds, and out of 36 RDTs for malaria, 15 were positive and treated for.  

Continue ReadingClinic Day 10 at Homanoywa

Clinic Day 9 at Kedohi

Today school was back in session and Laura and Krista dewormed 200 kids and went from classroom to classroom at a school and gave Whitfield’s anti-fungal cream to each child.             Patti went on a hospital transfer with an elderly woman who had fallen and broken her wrist yesterday and needed an X-ray and to be casted. She also transported a baby who needed to be admitted for fluids and rehydration who had a fever and was vomiting. Ingrid went on a hospital transfer with a young 11 year old girl who had arthritis in her hands and a wound that needed I&D (incision and drainage).             We saw a total of 587 people, taught 30 young girls sexual education, sent 3 to the hospital for further treatment, gave out 30 pairs of reading glasses, treated 20 positive out of 51 RDTs for malaria, did 2 home visits and treated 9 wounds.  

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Clinic Day 8 at Viyalo

Today Gail went on a home visit to follow up with a lady who had thyroid surgery done last week - she is recovering and doing very well thanks to all of our CNFA donors. Priscilla went on a hospital transfer with a 10 month old girl with stridor who was admitted with pneumonia and received nebulizer treatments. Today we saw 613 people, gave 35 pairs of reading glasses, treated 11 wounds, dewormed 82 children, had 11 out of 42 positive RDTs for malaria that were treated, taught 40 young girls about sexual education and gave reusable sanitary pads, treated 26 for jiggers and did a home visit and jiggers treatment. We also sent a total of 3 people to the hospital for further treatment.            

Continue ReadingClinic Day 8 at Viyalo

Clinic Day 7 at Chavakali

Ingrid, Johnstone, Victor and Sara went on a home visit to assess an elderly woman named Gladys. She had a stroke 5 years ago and has since become very weak and has a lot of pain when trying to ambulate. We provided her with some pain medications as well as taught her some exercises to build some strength. She is a very strong willed lady who is determined to be mobile again.                 Karen and Krista went on a hospital transfer with 3 patients - a baby with bilateral pneumonia and two young men who were in motor cycle accidents. One had a fractured elbow and wrist with a severe wound and swelling across his arm and hand and the other had a broken leg that was originally repaired by external fixation 3 months ago but hadn’t been set properly. He had also developed a wound on his leg. All three patients were admitted and their treatments paid for by CNFA. Pictured below is the one man’s X-ray of his arm where you can see how much swelling there was.

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Clinic Day 6 at Igungu

As today was Saturday, it was a shorter day for our clinic. We treated a total of 407 people in about 5 hours.               Lynn and Jane fitting a young barefoot boy with some shoes that grow. Today, 25 young girls were taught sexual education and given reusable sanitary pads, 38 children were dewormed, 4 wounds were treated, one patient was taken to the hospital, out of 45 RDTs, 23 were positive for malaria and were treated for, and 31 people were treated for jiggers.

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Clinic Day Five at Kigama

Our fifth day of clinics at Kigama has been the busiest one so far with a total of 657 people seen. 35 pairs of reading glasses were given, 40 young girls were taught sexual education, 30 people were treated for jiggers, 69 children were dewormed, 13 wounds were treated and out of 44 RDTs, 20 were positive for malaria.                 This is Ernest from one of our clinics last year who had a fractured humerus and CNFA funded his surgery to repair it. He came by to show us that he’s doing very well and going to physiotherapy. Meaghan went on a hospital transfer with a man who was diagnosed with a UTI. She also was able to transfer back home the man who had suspected TB which turned out to be pneumonia and was treated with antibiotics. He was very grateful for CNFA for helping him.                 Meet Elinah. She is a lovely 59 year old woman who has needed numerous amputations for an unknown disease that effects her limbs. She came to us with a wound on her hand that was open right to the bone and tendons. We…

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