We also had a lady who spoke very good English who came in with Ambrose, her son with special needs who can't talk. He has a huge hole in his back tooth which Brian our nurse, showed me. The Medical Centre does not have the power to use dental tools ( they don't have the tools either), and so although Brian is perfectly qualified to do this work, the mother could only collect some immediate pain relief and will have to take her son into the main town for treatment. This, with Ambrose being sensitive to crowds and noise, will not be an easy or a cheap task. Sometimes dentist and dental nurses come from the UK to help for a couple of weeks ago the centre, usually with extractions. If you can share this post with any you think might be interested in coming, please do.
We also had a little three year old girl who had drunk parafin that her mother usually kept in a soda bottle out of reach, but unfortunately, had left out and the child drank it. Brian was able to set up a drip to flush it out, and could check her throat to make sure it wasn't burnt seriously enough for her to be taken to the main hospital. The little girl and her mother stayed until stable. If they'd had to organise getting her to hospital, it would have meant trying to get a Boda Bods to collect her and take both mother and sick child on the back of the bike. The delay could have caused more harm as it often takes at least an hour for one to reach the clinic. A Boda Boda is one thing you will see us fundraise for as it is life or death in an emergency.
A pregnant lady came in for a check up. Many if the pregnant ladies visit for advice and support. She is supposed to be having a scan but her husband just can't afford it. Our midwife Justine thinks she may be having twins. Obviously it is essential that the staff have as much information as possible so that they are as prepared for the birth. I was told of one mother who had given birth in a nearby village who lost a great deal of blood and after the bleed couldn't be stopped by the witch doctor, she was brought to the Centre. The Centre then had to wait for transport to the main hospital because to the lady needed blood transfusion, but she had bled do much that she died. A Boda Boda, however unpractical it seems in the UK, is the way people travel here from babies and so being able to travel in most medical conditions, is possible here.
We have many people with disabilities who come to the Centre daily for support and community. Betty who has Downs Syndrome is part of the Suubi family. An elderly lady with dementia who is 82 years old also comes most days, as do many children not in school ( which I will talk about more this week).
In the afternoon we also had a mother, her baby and a little boy with malaria come into the Medical Centre. The boy had been brought by his father the previous day to be tested for malaria. I asked Brian what symptoms he would have shown but Brian said that the boy would have been feeling I'll anyway as has worms too and was malnourished. He showed me the little boys eyes and we talked about the basic needs of the people that the Medical Centre supports.
Many families have almost no food and rely on buying maize and sweet potato to live. It costs a family of five about 50p a day for these two basic foods to eat, but many are starving and malnourished. This stark truth is very hard to deal with for our group. We want to find a way to provide emergency food through the centre of perhaps have a weekly feeding programme, but the logistics need careful planning to ensure we can sustain what we start. It would be easy for us to throw money at the immediate problem. We also want to support families to be self sufficient so help them start their own businesses by just buying livestock to start them off, or a more expensive crop that takes longer to grow but sustain the family while they wait. We have some ladies who craft in the village coming to see us tomorrow afternoon and there may be others who could do this with a start up. Lots of things to do but I am so proud to be a friend of Denis Victor who set up this amazing Centre that already does so much and I'd the foundation for so much more!