Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Achain is one of our outreach clinics.   We go there once a month during the dry season. During the height of the rainy season, the roads are impassable except by motorcycles. It takes 2-4 hours to get there by truck depending on the condition of the roads. We work the day and then travel about one hour back toward Njinikom and stay the night in Ilung.  The next day we work in Ilung and then head back to Njinikom.

There is no electricity and no cell phone reception. Light is only by "bush lamp" which is a kerosene lantern. We have a portable ultrasound that we use for patients with various complaints and for those who are pregnant. We are able to use the ultrasound battery, but this limits us to about 7 ultrasounds before the battery runs out. Many of the patients travel from even more remote villages for our once a month visit. Achain was able to connect the US to a generator and run it during one of our visits so that everyone who needed an ultrasound could have one. The connection was a bit precarious!

Recently, a very special Dutch friend of St. Martin De Porres, Peter van Leerdam, provided solar lighting for Achain. This provides a much more reliable, safe power source.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The hospital continues to be very busy.

We were blessed to have Drs. Greg Shay and Juliane Intek here this last month to help out. Dr. Greg is a newly retired pediatric pulmonologist from the Bay Area. Dr. Juliane is an almost finished pediatric resident from Germany. We kept them busy with the pediatric patients, sick newborns and prematures and learned a lot from them. When they weren’t busy with children, they stretched the age limits of pediatrics and helped out on the adult wards. Their oldest patient was just 104!

They also helped with our outreach clinics, continuing medical education talks (here and at the neighboring Baptist Hospital at Mbingo), and with screening exams at the children’s HIV clinic, the vaccine clinic, and at the orphanage.

Greg also taught the staff how to put in an intraosseous line.  This life saving device and technique can allow us to give medications, blood and fluids when we are not able to obtain intravascular access.

Thank you Drs. Greg and Juliane.