Pediatrics

Day 3 of clinic work in Tanzania…where do I begin?
Day one was highlighted by the look of relief on mother’s faces when told their child was cleared for a surgery that could dramatically change their lives. Later in the morning at St. Elizabeth’s, I was requested to go upstairs to consult on a 4 month old with fevers to 104, seizures, vomiting and possible pneumonia. The volunteer American student caring for her was concerned that she wasn’t getting proper treatment. I reviewed her case, examined her and spoke to her mom, who was sitting with her on a bed, along with another mom and child sharing the same bed. Her care was adequate for what was available….I just hope it’s enough.

Day 2 saw me seeing 25 pediatric patients at Kisongo clinic. Nearly every patient seemed to have chronic eye inflammation from the smokey fires at home and dusty conditions. One of those off handidly mentions he’s also has a painful bulge in his lower abdomen for several months. I examine him and find an inguinal hernia. He’s at the clinic alone, so my translator Fredrick goes with him to find his grandmother and we explain what he has and how he needs surgery.

Day 3: Started the morning at Azimio School, where our team performed an echocardiogram on a 10 year old girl with congenital heart disease. Her diagnosis was different then originally thought, but also correctable.
Then we traveled back to Kisongo clinic, which was bustling with excitement from the public market place. I was able to see more wonderful pediatric patients as well as tour the market. There’s no way to convey the sights and sounds of the local marketplace, other than to say it’s something one MUST experience for themselves.

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