Monday, November 12, 2007

Frustrations in the outpatient clinic...

What to write?
Well, not much today.
It’s 9pm on a Monday evening.
The day was long.
Some cases were frustrating.
I am tired.

At 8am this morning there were 80 children at the gate.
Waiting.
Unfortunately we had to turn 20 of them away.
The waiting room just can’t really hold more than 60.
And it would be overwhelming for the lab.
And even with 60, the last child didn’t go home until 6pm.

What to say to the parents who are turned away?
Each one says “please see my child, he/she is sick”.
I tell them “all of them are sick, it’s not just your child”.
I tell them “I can’t treat all of the children in Freetown”.
I tell them “I am sorry” and tell them what their options are.
But what does any of this mean to the mother holding her sick child on the other side of the gate?

We do what we can; today, we did it for the 60.
By the end of the day I was somewhat frustrated.
Why do some parents here seem to know so little about so much?
They load up their kids on meds, they barely feed them, they wait too long to see a doctor.
I realize again that “lack of knowledge” and sometimes “ignorance” is the root of many problems.
If only parents knew more, surely more childhood deaths would be prevented!

To be continued...

2 comments:

geraldo said...

Hola dear Sandra, I beg your allowance to write on your post.
I consider your profession very worthy. To take care of children was one of my dreams when I was very young. I considered them like angels, and I could not bear to see these littles one to suffer.
Well, I came over here by chance. I was looking for blogs in Sierra Leone in order to exchange a visit. I had never been here before and therefore Never received any visit.
Now that I invite you to know my little corner I hope I can get my intention.
Desiring you a very good time.
Best wishes from Brazil
Geraldo

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sandra for the difference you DO make in the lives of the 60 you did see this "frustrating day in the OPC". It is my prayer that you will be able to focus on the "one at the time" as you so clearly stated yourself, "you can not help all the children of Freetown".
Love always
mama

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~