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 all…so 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 my day job. And then it started to rain…more like a torrential downpour…the sky got dark, the sun went out and we were left in the dark. Between the sound of the rain hitting the metal roof, and the noise inside the building, I’m surprised those in triage could hear a blood pressure.

Opening prayers
Rains down in Africa
Always a beautiful sky after a rain. Big Sky Country Alberta….take some lessons.

We managed to see over 400 patients in this space and approx. half a dozen wounds looked after by Tanya, bless her heart. Unfortunately the bug that has been “running” through The Squad knocked out her partner in crime for the day.

Tanya with her last wound of the day.

I had to opportunity to visit the school adjacent to the church to deliver deworming medication to the students. Yes worms are a thing here. No sanitation or proper sewage/septic systems. In these areas cattle, humans, chickens and everything else in between share the fields, ditches, and even roadways. This is why we drink only bottled water…and do not use the tap water for brushing your teeth….and wear shoes.

Trish at the table.
Jerry helps out too, and is amazing with the kids.
Each grade came out one by one, from youngest to oldest. Instructions in Swahili to the young ones and in English (mostly) to the older ones.
Each child given a tablet to chew and heads checked for ring worm and cream provided as needed.
Donated soccer balls to the school, the girls took one…
…and the boys took the other. These are always a big hit.

Today CNFA also provided Solomon’s grandson, Lipson, with a new wheelchair.

Patti with Solomon and Lipson
Solomon was without his own ride, taking the wheelchair home.
Lipson following behind…motorcycle taxis are ubiquitous here.

I think alot of our feelings stem from frustration of seeing the people living in such conditions and the suffering they go through because they cannot afford even the simplest of medical attention. The lack of resources and conditions seen in the hospitals….and it’s all just a way of life. Infections, trauma, death….is a normal daily occurrence for them. Despite the lack of advances in medical care affordability the cell phone is very prevalent hers, even in some of these poorer areas. And cellular provider advertisement and branding is Seen.On. Everything.

Team Member Intro: Meet Lynn. Lynn is one of the OG nurses with CNFA, going on missions every year since 2010. I had the privelege of working with Lynn at Joseph Brant ER many years ago and was happy to have the opportunity to work alongside her again. Lynn takes charge of the medication needs for the mission and coordinates the deworming activities and sexual health classes with the school principals.

Lt-RT Rosalyn, Lynn and Sarah
Lynn with a freshly set up med station.

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