Jumbo from Kenya! Another fantastic day at the clinic.
I’m relieved to report that the patient who ingested the toxin has improved quite a bit. She is conscious and alert although is still unable to sit up. She is experiencing chest pain due to aspirating when she expelled the toxin and is being treated with antibiotic. She should make a recovery with hopefully not many long-term physical effects. The more important issue at the moment is her mental state. She is still very sad and will require counseling. The clinic staff is unfortunately accustomed to this issue. They have up to five attempted suicides a month and the staff does an unbelievable job considering their limited training and resources. We are exploring the idea of bringing a psychologist with us on a future trip although are sensitive to the cultural differences and the challenges this will bring when counseling someone from a different country. But the issue remains they have a high incidence of depression and anxiety and we’d like to give the staff tools when trying to help their patients.
An exciting part of the morning was removing the patches of the cataract patients’ eyes. A very moving experience with lots of smiles. Dr. Sidiqa and Jemimah conducted post-op eye examinations assessing the patients’ visual acuity to determine whether the surgery was a success.
We are pleased with the results with 15 out of the 16 showing visual improvement. The one remaining was unchanged but through vigilant follow-up we are optimistic that their eyesight will improve as well.
We also conducted 12 more surgeries today. A few were tougher than the others, but overall they went very well. The patients will stay overnight and be administered drops every four hours and monitored for any complications. Tomorrow will prove to be another exciting morning when the patients have their patches removed. Will be sure to share more photos!
Dr. Paul was busy with many patients with a myriad of issues. He also performed several cyst removals on patients including one of the chefs from the main house where we lodge. He had a benign cyst on the back of his neck which had been bothering him for years. Dr. Paul was able to remove it easily today and the chef couldn’t have been happier!
The day didn’t end at the clinic. Vanessa and Dr. Michael had a meeting on our M-Health Study with Bernard Ochieng, principal investigator on the study. Naweza is studying the effectiveness of using SMS technology, which is used by the Community Health Workers to identify patients who are potentially at high risk for cardiovascular disease in order to facilitate early intervention.
Tomorrow is outreach at Simit. It’s our favourite day as the village is in a beautiful setting about 30 minutes up the mountain. The people are lovely and always so appreciative of us coming. We will be offering pediatrics, general medicine, optometry and dermatology. We will also have our Community Health Workers along with us and will be training them on using a sugar monitor to more accurately determine if the people they are identifying in their community for being at risk of chronic disease are diabetic.
So, it will be a full day. And it’s hard to believe it is our last full day at Fluorspar. We have learned a lot on this trip and are already planning our agenda for the next one in January. So much more to do! But for now, a good night's sleep is in order. Will be sure to share lots of photos tomorrow of Simit.