Saturday, February 16, 2008

Another frustration: Waiting too long…

Many people spend hours waiting in our clinic. Waiting for the doctor, for blood tests, for the results, for medication, etc. Some can spend up to 9 hours waiting from the moment they walk in the clinic, to the moment they go home with treatment. Obviously this means a lot of long days for me. This is not the frustration however; at least not for me. I suppose to some of the parents it can be a frustrating long day. But in the end most of them are just happy that someone took the time to examine their child, lab tests were available, and the correct medication was chosen for their child, rather than receiving a random collection of drugs to take.

What I am talking about is parents waiting too long to bring their child to a clinic. There have been children that have died due to their parents’ delay. Part of this is because they don’t recognize danger signs, part of it is because they don’t know where to take their child, part of it is because half of the ‘clinics’ in town are not functioning the way they should be (see previous blog entries: AND

There are many examples, but I’ll use the most recent one; a 4 month old girl who was brought to the clinic by her mom this past Tuesday.

She had been sick for one month. Her mother didn’t take her anywhere. She was only given country (traditional) medicine (=herbs) The father needed hernia surgery. So they made sure he received proper treatment instead.

She had a fever; a temp of 39.6 Celsius. A cough; with a respiration of 100 per minute!!! Her abdomen was distended; with a palpable liver and spleen of 3 cm each. At least she was breastfeeding. Her lab results: normal glucose, low hemoglobin, high white blood count and MANY malaria parasites.

I managed to refer her for inpatient treatment at an NGO hospital. After three days of iv treatment she was discharged home with medication. The mom is ‘lucky’ her child survived. As one of the sayings here goes: “Only the strong survive”. I guess this little girl is a fighter. I hope the mom learned her lesson for next time...

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Thanks for your willingness, motivation, diligence and passion for the children (and parents) of this nation. You are a trooper

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