Whirlwind day starting with our traditional walk at daybreak and then the team dispersed in multiple directions. Our group started at St. Elizabeth’s to hear Dr. Mia D’s lecture on anemia which generated good questions and discussion. Education is another major goal of our visits.
We then headed out for three home visits, over hill and dale. We had seen all three patients on previous trips and two of the three continued to do well but we encouraged the third patient to get to the hospital ASAP, suspecting a pneumonia. It is humbling to be invited into these people’s living rooms and be surrounded by abject poverty but enveloped by their graciousness and gratitude.
The rest of the day was spent at Kisongo providing medical clinics focusing on dermatology, pediatrics, cardiology and general medicine- and I do mean general, everything from aches and pains, rashes, hypertension, infectious disease, H pylori, to seizures and gynecological issues. Our team was beyond patient, working non-stop without breaks in hot and dusty rooms; innovative, using bathrooms as exam rooms; and frustrated when we knew we could do more but lacked the resources. We saw 177 patients at Kisongo and 29 more at the school.
We are playing the long game, working to create positive relationships and connections and building for the future literally with our clinic and figuratively with our sponsored medical and nursing students.
It feels amazing to be back for a fourth time and I never fail to marvel at the awesome people drawn to this work.