Day 2 of Clinic!

Today started off with one team member falling ill, so just like that we were down one team member. Unfortunately, we also got off to a late start because of our transportation was running a bit behind schedule. However, once our bus arrived to the house, we ready to go. When we made it to the clinical site, there was a huge crowd of patients waiting for the team. We were faced with another obstacle, the door leading to the main room where we were receiving patients, was still locked. So we began gathering patients’ intake information outside, while we waited for the door to be unlocked.

And once we were finally let in, we went straight to work!

It was a great day at clinic; we were able to see a total of 202 patients, just for that day.  Many of the patients came in with similar maladies; vaginal infections, GERD, skin rashes to name a few. This made some of the team members rather suspicious, as it seemed too coincidental that so many women were complaining of vaginal infections since they expressed a different chief complaint during their intake process. Therefore, some members of the team believed that the younger ladies may have been fabricating some of their symptoms to obtain certain medications.

But we were 5 steps ahead of them.

One of the best things that occurred today was Watson conducting a small session at the end of the day that was focused primarily on sexual health. This is a topic that is vaguely discussed, so to take the time to educate these girls was very beneficial to these young women. They were able to ask questions and gain a better understanding of their bodies and how to properly take care of themselves.

Another great feat for the day was the pharmacy. This time around, pharmacy ran a lot smoother. There were about 3-4 people working in the pharmacy, along with Jess-Ann, the intern working with Allison Garrett. She was an exceptional help to the team especially having no medical background, she was able to learn on the job, and following the instruction of the medical students and nurses to help create an efficient flow in the pharmacy.

One of the 4th-year medical students, Dejon, got the opportunity to do wound care with a patient who came in with a wound that was so deep in his foot Dejon to first soak it in hydrogen peroxide to clean it from the inside out before it could be dressed. He had the cut for several weeks and the treatment she sought did not do anything to help ease the pain or heal the wound.

Even though the work we do may not seem like a lot, but the patients we saw today showed a great deal of appreciation for what we did. One lady told us a story of how she had woken up at 4 am that morning and walked 2.5 hours with her granddaughter to get there by 7 am just to be seen for 5 minutes. She was just so happy that she had access to a health provider and receive some treatment for her ailments.

The three team leaders, Cassandra, Geraldine, and Watson have really stepped up during this trip to make things run a lot smoother and efficient. Despite nurse Geraldine being ill, she managed to make it to the clinic for the second half of the day to work and give a helping hand.

We usually end our evenings together, with our reflections. There were two things that stood out this evening.

Allison sat down with us and thanked us for all the work we were doing because it is a lot more than the hospital in the area does. The patients who come to us have been treated with much more respect than the hospitals would have given them. She then began to tell us about an incident that occurred earlier in the day, when she went to the hospital, with a patient from the previous day to have their labs completed. While she was there, a pregnant lady came in distressed after falling on a large rock while crossing a river. In the middle of the hospital waiting room, she gave birth to a stillborn baby and no one helped her or tried to give her any privacy. The nurses provided her with a bag to put her stillborn baby in, all while other people in the hospital are casually walking around and staring at her. She was then forced into a room with no one to comfort her. When Allison attempted to go console her and she was told not to.  Patients have complained of going to this hospital, having a surgical procedure done and coming back not knowing that they’ve been sterilized, without their consent or knowledge of what is being done to their bodies.

This whole ordeal bolstered what Andy would later say.  He made a comment that really resonated with the team, “iron sharpens iron’. What that meant was, we all are helping each other and learning from each other every day. This trip has been and will continue to be, a learning experience for all of us. Each day brings on a whole new set of challenges that we were not expecting but yet we continue to work better together and do much more work than we expected we could do.

-Amanda Muana

Oikonomia Consulting