Monday, March 23, 2009

Clinic #2: Seeta

Our second clinic was in a place called Seeta. Pronouced See-et-uh. There we met Betty, who runs a school for the surrounding children. It's not an orphanage, but many of these children come from vulnerable families and wouldn't have the chance to go to school if not for Betty. Most of the children have classes with her and the teachers in the morning and afternoon. Some of the older kids return to her HOUSE in the evenings for additional classes. (Here's a pic of some kids outside the school.)

There is one building for the school, divided into 4 sections. Each section holds two classes. The classes are divided by a chalkboard -- one teacher writes on one side, the other writes on the other side. The kids face each other, but can't see one another because of the chalkboard. The whole room is about 8x16 feet. Pretty small once you put a chalkboard and 2-3 benches on each side.

We went to the "clinic" after meeting Betty and the students at the school. One of the community leaders lent his house for us to hold the clinic in. We had 2 rooms -- one for seeing patients and one for the pharmacy. Each of us 4 providers took a corner of the room. We put 2 chairs in each corner and a coffee table dividing the room in half.

At this clinic, we learned that each provider needed her own translator. Waiting for one to free up was not working. We became more efficient in seeing patients this way. We also set up our pharmacy with several chairs so people could wait for their medications. We learned that it's essential to have a dedicated translator in the pharmacy.

We saw about 180 patients over those two days. There was some chaos, but overall it wasn't bad for our first real clinic. We had a very dehydrated baby that we mixed up some oral rehydration solution for. We also had a baby with suspected pyloric stenosis versus severe reflux. He would vomit after almost every feeding. He had gained only 1lb in the 2 months since birth. He should've gained over 10. His mother was also have severe pelvic pain after having a C-section.

We arranged for them to go to the hospital. We actually took them ourselves on one of our final days in Uganda. Mom ended up having a severe bladder infection (thankfully nothing worse!), and the baby was going to be checked by a radiologist a few days later to look for pyloric stenosis. I'll have to check to see if we have an update on the little guy.

Seeta was a good way to start things off. We learned how to pack and unpack all of the meds into our 7 suitcases. We learned how to maneuver all of the suitcases on and off the bus. We'd have to do this every morning and every night, so that we could keep the meds safely with us.

The next clinic was supposed to be more low key. Half the group would go to Waka Waka and the providers would go to Canaan. Then we'd switch. Let's just say it didn't turn to be as "low key" as we anticipated.


Me said...

I think this is where I practiced my newly learned nursing skills...finding heart rate and breathing rate. Crazy skills. It was so awesome doing a trip like this with you. Let's do another...what do you say?

Julia said...

amazing stories. i bet these people were so grateful to have medical help!!

Julie said...

Update on the baby- Last week, the baby needed an X-ray for a more complete diagnosis. I'll let you know when we get the results of the X-ray.