Thursday, February 17, 2011

Clinics Day 4 – New Site! – Thursday, February 17, 2011

We spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at Kangetta. We drove the 75 – 90 minutes to the site each morning, and it seemed to take forever because we were so excited to start the clinics. The days were great but long. We helped many people: 350 in Medical, 120 in Dental, and 530 in Vision. The medical team was divided into Ear Nose and Throat, Elderly, and General. There was also a separate pediatrics clinic, dental clinic, and vision clinic. The ride home every evening was filled with laughter and so enjoyable! One night, two of the combi’s even saw wild elephants along the road, stopped and took pictures! How fortunate!

Adair and David

Adair shares a story from Kengatta: there was a 13 year old boy that had fallen and badly damaged his knee in December, and had been hobbling on it since then. The x-ray of the knees showed the bones turned out nearly 30 degrees and hurt so much! The boy walked to school every day on it without a stick and never took so much as a tylenol. He will be staying at the mission hospital until his leg can work again, which may require surgery. Ida came over and did physiotherapy on his leg. He looks after his grandmother who is a laborer with elephantiasis, where the legs look as large as elephant trunks. When he and grandma work in the summer, they have money for food, but when he’s in school and due to the grandma’s condition, they eat what they can the rest of the year out of the small local garden. When Adair saw him, he hadn’t eaten in 2 days. Someone dropped their pen and he hobbled over, picked it up, and gave it back. What a sweet boy! His mother died in childbirth and the father left.  His tribe tells them to follow their paternal side, so he is kicked out of his family at 8th grade when he leaves school to go and live on his father’s land, a man he has never met. But, if he is sponsored and can stay in school, he will be able to stay at the home he knows. Anne Josiah, who works for Chalice, was explaining how unlikely it will be that he gets sponsored since he’s old. Adair immediately jumped in to sponsor him. She said “yea! For $30 a month, of course!” The grandma was most happy that he would get to eat every day. When the boy and grandmother realized that the sponsorship was coming from Adair, he hobbled over to thank her. She said they acted like they won the lottery! What a special story for a boy who is the top of his class and before today, had no hope to continue in school! When he was going to get an x-ray, he was so patient and nice, and explained that first he had to go tell the principal that he would miss school and needed to get his homework. Adair told the grandmother that she had to sponsor him because he was so nice and the grandmother raised him so well. When asked if the grandma cried, Adair said , “Yea we both cried!”  How very special!
Today, we held medical and dental clinics in Mikinduri at the Dispensary. Here in Kenya, the country is divided into markets, towns, and bigger divisions. Mikinduri has been a market and as such only has a medical dispensary: an L shaped building with 6 rooms, a lab, a pharmacy, and a brand new maternity ward. There is a nurse and a clinical officer at the dispensary (which is a nurse who can prescribe medication). When the Prime Minister came, he declared Mikinduri a town, which requires a district hospital. This could mean a lot for this small area, including bringing doctors and specialists permanently to the hopefully upgraded hospital.

Jenn and Nancy doing a sealant

The dental team is set up in a tent and has the advantage of the bright sun and nice breeze, without the heat or sunburn. They served 70 people, starting the day with a large group of school children. Heather and Penny worked sterilizing the equipment with Nancy, who spent Tuesday doing sealants until the power surge broke her machine! She had planned to seal children’s teeth the entire trip but since the machine broke, she is back to assisting in dental. Bill said they had a good day but hope there will be more people the next day. That’s the spirit!

Rosa in the Lab

The medical team is situated in the L-shaped building. They had 2 Canadian doctors, one Kenyan doctor, 6 Canadian nurses, 6 Kenyan nurses, an occupational therapist, a Canadian lab tech, a Canadian and Kenyan social worker, a Canadian pharmacist, and a Canadian physiotherapist! They saw 100 patients, including a little 11 month old that was rushed to the hospital with malaria, which can be deadly for infants.

Karen and Virgil

The vision team stayed in Kangetta one more day because they had 300 people lined up! The Vision team has been averaging 250 people per day, so they were thrilled for the challenge, and ended up exceeding it! They saw 325 people in between 9 and 4! That is a lot of people who can walk away with glasses now with the ability to see. Cheri said there was one man who was not happy with any pair, and she finally fitted him with a -5.00 in one eye, and -0.25 in the other eye! His face lit up and he looked thrilled to be able to finally see! She also recalls one woman who had -7.00 glasses for distance and -4.00 for reading. Most people use a +2.00 for reading and it’s rare to give anything bigger than -2.00! Cheri said the woman looked at her face once she put the glasses on and had a grin creep across her face until her whole face was one great big smile! Everyone who came back from the vision team had the same expression: exhaustion and exhilaration!
What an exciting day! We have one more day of clinics, then the weekend to relax and experience Kenya and Mikinduri before starting all over!

Karen and Libby "busy" at the vision clinic


  1. Great work guys. We are all very proud of you back here in PEI. Keep up the great work! Miss ya Jenn love, Mom
    God Bless!

  2. Very interesting read Mom. It is obvious that you guys are making a difference. Play safe and enjoy your trip. Angie (Bea's daughter)