Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Update #4 - For Granted

Today we did two different clinics. When we arrived at Phebian’s house
this morning she asked us to see two people so we unpacked our medical
supplies, set up in her living room and by the time we finished we had
seen 19 people and arrived late to our target village of Njaima, about
one hour from Koidu.
Again in Njaima we worked all day seeing 66 pts and again the last
hour was by flashlight. In fact for our last pt I held the flashlight
while Phebian gave someone a shot of antibiotic. Today we held the
clinic in two rooms that are usually the main office for the area
paramount chief. They cleared out the office and let us set up for one
Njaima was a much different experience for us medically. Yesterday
felt like we were conducting a MASH clinic seeing all kinds of really
acutely ill folks with incredible diagnoses and mostly younger people
and children. Today we saw mostly elderly folks with chronic diseases
like hypertension, asthma etc and much fewer exotic tropical diseases.
Two villages not that far apart geographically with a much different
list of common illnesses( albeit based on our one short term
So all day we kept thinking and asking why the difference? Because
obviously long term the goal is to have villages where people can grow
old, and not have to deal with the illnesses like malaria and typhoid
that are so preventable and attack the young .
Here is what we heard.
1. Njaima was the first village in Sierra Leone that western Christian
missionaries settled in
2. Njaima had the first elementary school in Kono Province. Most of
the villagers are educated and they even have a college here.
3. Njaima is one of the only villages in Kono district that has its
own dedicated water supply ( a dam) and water is carried by pipes to
each family compound.
4. Njaima has had a primary medical clinic for a very long time. So
many of the pts we saw today mentioned seeing a doctor or nurse in the
past, unlike yesterday
5. Finally the paramount chief has a reputation of being a great
leader and Christian and Muslims work together and live together in
Today's clinic in Njaima gives me hope.
So as a doctor at Jericho Road I realize I have taken alot of things
for granted...
  Plastic bags
  Gloves ( we have one box)
  Air conditioner
  Exam tables
  Exam table paper
  Running water
  Eye glasses
  Cataract surgery
  Hernia repairs
  Tape ( we have one roll)
  Wic program
I am resolved to not take any of these things for granted again
Phebian has brought Jericho Road to the poorest district of the
poorest country in the whole world. One in which the average life
expectancy is 40 yrs old and one of every five children under two die.
And yet this same place has the richest diamond mines in the whole
world. Unbelievable.

Keep us in your prayers. Paul, Phebian and our team are doing great.
God Bless. Myron

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