We had a great clinic at Viyalo today. We started off by meeting with our Kenyan advisory board which consists of the Kisumu and Kakamega team leaders, a clinical officer and our community health worker. One of the nurses and a clinical officer had a great suggestion of providing some health teaching to the patients around hygiene to prevent infections. Considering that we are always aware about being culturally respectful, we had never thought this was an option for preventative health education. However, our Kenyan colleagues felt it was essential to teach patients about handwashing before meals, after bathroom etc. Our Kenyan nurses will now implement this education when triaging patients and/or when they discuss their medications with them. This demonstrates how valuable it is to work collaboratively with our Kenyan partners.
Another first time (we seem to be having a lot of these this year!) – a three year old girl had a febrile seizure in clinic due to acute malaria. She was one of three patients we sent to hospital. We did a school deworming and dressed 13 wounds. 40 girls attended a sexual health class and just to let you know, the bright coloured bags, especially the orange ones, were a hit with them to carry their pads in! Gail delivered more books donated by Mark Zelinsky and told the Headmaster when she returns next year they are to be well used by the students. They were impressed by the pictures of the snow.
Today we had two particularly sad cases. I was triaging one young girl (4 years old) and noticed her abdomen was very hard and distended and she was very lethargic. Through translation it was evident she had been this way “since she started walking”. The clinical officer felt she had an enlarged spleen due to chronic malaria but would need an ultrasound to properly assess her. Her grandmother was caring for her, as is the case with many children here due to parental death from HIV, and she was unable to afford the ultrasound. We have connected her with our community worker who will follow up with her so we can hopefully provide support to her for further diagnostic testing. Another case was a man who came into clinic with 2 severely deformed legs but used crutches to mobilize. Even to get in and out of the chair for triage was an effort but he never complained. I had moved from the triage station to medications and suddenly noticed how he was struggling to get up the stairs to hand in his chart for medications. What broke my heart is that he never complained or asked for help when it was obvious every step was difficult for him. We decided to ask our community worker to assess his need for a wheelchair. We learned he actually was a caregiver for a disabled son at home as well. He was surprised and grateful by our offer for a wheelchair. The need is never ending here. However, if we can help a few it is more than worthwhile. We thank all for your support as we would not be able to do this without you who have contributed to CNFA in any way.
We ended up seeing 813 patients today. Our hands are all stained red as we were packing multivitamins at supper so off to the shower now! And, I must correct my mistake from yesterday – it was a roundworm, not a tapeworm.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Eric Wright

    What culture shock! We complain if our computers run too slow, if traffic is thick, if the weather is unpleasant, etc, and that man doesn’t complain at all! It’s incredible.

    And how sad (the two girls and the man with crutches)! Thank god there are people like you guys to help those in need. What you do is edifying beyond all measure.

  2. Dawn Bernard

    Thanks for reminding us of the great need in Kenya. You are all doing a great job!

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