Machakos Clinic

Hey Peeps – Todd Here. . . again

First, You all helped us to bring 2005 books to BOH to help start/expand their library!! YaaaaaaaaThank You from the BOH teachers!  Awesome.

Back online as follow up. I am not writing all at once due to the fact that the magic of wifi is a bit ‘sketchy’ as my girls would say. So, to sort of get the magic to be more reliable I am breaking up the size of what is posted.  We will see what Eric finds when he works on the pics  .  .  .

The clinic:  I wanted to come back to the people of our Machakos clinic.  First, pronounce Machakos ( by the governor of the district ) ‘makakos’ (all short vowels – many Kenyans pronounce the ‘ch’).  We saw primarily Kamba people – from the Kamba tribe.  The importance of which tribe a person is from relates primarily to region from a medical and social perspective more than a genetic ‘conference of disease’ perspective.  Region(tribe) affects health due to hardships of work – i.e., farming a mountain vs farming a river valley.  The lack of infrastructure is the second way in which region would affect a people group – poor roads, more walking and cart pulling by humans.   Lack of infrastructure can probably be interpreted as lower levels of medical care; although Loitoktok had somewhat better roads and availability of water and electricity while similar medical care access. So don’t hold me to a hard line there.  Third, diet is somewhat different based on which region as well; keep in mind that an excess of starch in the way of beans, potatoes/rice, and bananas/plantains represents much of the East African diet.

Now, yesterday’s impact of BOH presence in the Machakos region over the past 4-5 years came out in the total number of people we saw: 528ish.  With the availability of medical services provided by BOH in this community, the people did not feel the urgency to come to our clinic; we had expected and planned for 1500-2000 people.  For me, this relief of the press of humanity that mentally I had been bracing for became joy that BOH is a Light in that community.

My interpreter was Edward.   He is a 62 yo man who had worked in the laboratory of a paint company for many years.  He joined the local medical a couple years ago to extend the social services/interpretation/community education and awareness. He had gone to school here: we set up the clinic at the local school.  He knew many of the patients that I saw.  On the one hand, this was good – he had a rapport with many even before my queries began; on the other,  there were a couple of instances in which patients were uncomfortable with the answer to my question or the manner/language in which Edward had presented it.  I am happy to say I was able to work around these.  Pray for Edward: blessings for his involvement in the medical clinic, for his health.

One of the little family groups I was asked to see was an older lady – 75 yo Ruth was here with three kids – ages 4, 12, 13.  Her principle two problems were shoulder pain, and pain in her eyes.  Now, she still farms; lifting, digging, and carrying loads aggravate her shoulders such that she has trouble sleeping at night.  As well, her eyes are bothered by the dust of living close to a road and the smoke of the cooking fires.  They itch, burn and hurt. She is having trouble reading her bible over the past few years as well.

We talked about some stretches, got her some pain meds (she did not have neurological representations of her pain) and strategies for changing her work flow so as to lower the strain on the body. Hmmmmm are farmers very open to some of those concepts?  Eye drops, and help her understand that reading glasses would help . .  .   .    .  problem is money for the glasses which I understand are only available at the eye clinic at the hospital and the catholic eye care group that is in the area about twice per year. Pray for Ruth to get a pair of glasses, for her shoulder pain to improve.

I saw the kids; they are doing well, minor aches, coughs, itching eyes.  I wondered about the parents. Interruptions, lost flow in the rapport, just could not get back to asking about the children’s parents(dotheyhaveparents?). . . pray for them. . .

Next patient. .  .   .


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