|Examining Room Behind the Curtains|
The medical camp began early the next morning (more or less - remember we are in Kenya where most things don't start on time and never without a hiccup or two -- or three). Upon arrival at the site - which was the Restoration Community Church (RCC) - there were already many people on the porch waiting to be seen. They were registered outside by local folks, who could get all of the demographics correct, and then went in to the various stations. First they went to the nutritionist who screened them for various nutritionally related issues, including malnutrition. Then they went on to triage, where their vital signs and a general evaluation were done by some nurses, then on to see the doctors. An "examining room" was set up in one corner using the church curtains for privacy, a long table and a mattress. The pharmacy was set up - lots of medication. In the three days we treated at least 800 patients, and ran out of some medicines.
We had others left over and by concensus contributed it to a trusted local charity that does monthly medical camps. We will have better knowledge of medical supplies for our next clinic. We had staff from a local hospital in Kisumu; 2 doctors, 2 nurses, a nutritionist and 2 pharmacists.. The last station, probably the most important, was a space sectioned off for prayer. After treatment every patient who wanted it (most did) was prayed for by leaders in the church. Then outside was a tent with staff that did HIV/AIDS counselling and screening.
From meeting with the local medical staff prior to the clinic we found out that the hospital had no equipment to send with them. We notified the team in America and they were able to bring some top-of-the-line stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and two otoscopes for examining ears, all of which were given to the medical staff. You would have thought it was Christmas by the way they reacted. Most of the items were donated by interested folk who were excited to help.
There were some very sick children, many with ear infections, that were helped immediately by antibiotics and other meds. These infections, if left untreated, would have resulted in permanent deafness. Others had malnutrition, some so serious that we sped them to the hospital right from clinic. One very nearly died and was in hospital for several days. A young pregnant woman came in suffering seriously from pre-eclampsia. She was waiting to go into labour any time. Because she was so swollen in her face, feet and hands she came to the clinic. She was taken immediately to the hospital in Kisumu. Sadly the baby had died - had been dead for quite some time; it was actually decomposing. Had she not come to the clinic she herself would surely have died. The baby was delivered and she was treated, remaining in hospital for several days. She has been discharged, with antibiotics and is recovering. Although she lost her baby she is very happy to have been saved from certain death and made well.
Some of the babies and toddlers were terrified by the white people and many really cried when being examined; unusual for a Kenyan child. It wasn't uncommon for a child to bring in its younger sibling for treatment. That child saw its sibling through the whole process, including getting the medication and instructions on how it was to be administered. The pharmacists were very careful to make sure each patient or caretaker understood how to administrer the medication.
IT IS NO EXAGGERATION TO SAY THAT YOUR GENEROSITY SAVED MANY LIVES THROUGH THE MEDICAL CLINIC. TRULY, SOME ON THE VERY DAY THEY CAME!THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
|Praying for a Child and His Mother|
With Love and God's Richest Blessings,
John and Marty