Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day of...

June 16th was the Day of the African Child.
It also happened to be a Monday; a clinic day.
Well, in all honesty, it ended up being a Day of Frustration for me.
There were lots of children at the gate.
I feel horrible sending children away, but even more so on this day.
So, I thought, since it’s the Day of the African Child, we’ll let them all in.
In the end, it was way less busy than a usual Monday; ‘only’ 53 children.
BUT my lab tech was at home, sick!Oh no.
That meant doing my own lab work, which in itself, isn’t so bad.
It means using the battery operated hemocue to check hemoglobin.
Using the quick tests for malaria and using the urine strips to test urine.
The essential tests; not the most ideal (microscopy is better) but it’s still more than many clinics here can do.
And the tests only take 2-20 minutes and the blood can be taken by fingerprick.
Sounds easy.
Unfortunately, the quick tests for malaria we have do not seem to work all the time.
Many times the control line on the test does not show up, meaning the test is invalid.
This means it needs to be repeated, which means calling the child back for another prick.
If that happens once, it’s not so bad.
But when it happens over and over and over and you keep having to poke a child, it’s not good.
It’s frustrating.
So, we ended up using more tests than I hoped (we have an allotted number per year).
And calling children in multiple times to take samples.
And had a very long clinic day because of all of this.
However, we did manage in the end and the children were all seen and treated.
And as frustrating as it was, in the end, the mission was accomplished.

It was the Day of the African Child (like every day in our clinic is!)

2 comments:

jody said...

Ii lurk on your blog often. We just returned from Freetown after completing our adoption of twins. We are now home and everyone is settling.
But when I think of the real heroes...it is people like you. Thank you for caring for the 'african child' each and every day. Thank you for giving so much of yourself, your time, your talent, your comfort, your safety.
You inspire us. And we will tell our children...our American and African children...about people like you. People who love Sierra Leone and it's people. And who working tirelessly to give hope and healing and grace to such a beautiful and broken place.
Thank you.

arnelsc@gmail.com said...

i just found your blog a few moments ago under one of my google alert "hemocue". it's 1:45 am pst. i just want to express my appreciation to your efforts. i still have some connections at hemocue. do you need anything?

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