Phebian, Mohamed, and Pastor Joshua picked us up today and we stopped at the local pharmacy for a medication run. We are finding that a lot of the medications are cheaper to buy in Koidu. There are certain meds that are cheaper to get in the US and send. Kirk has been keeping a list of these cost comparisons. After we stop, we head on to Jaima for a half day of teaching. Jaima is by far the most advanced, cleanest, and healthiest communities. They have a nurse and CHO (community health officer which is equivalent to a PA) that staffs the medical clinic. They also have a lab tech and provide rapid malaria, gonorrhea, H.Pylori, typhoid, and pregnancy tests. They have a working microscope that they use to test stool for worms and have a fully stocked pharmacy. The nurse is the chiefs wife and she really advocates for her community and the medical clinic. There are several nurses in training there.
As we arrived, we are greeted with the typical Sierra Leone greeting of children screaming "white man" and the village leaders lined up to shake our hands. We meet everyone we should and go through our round of introductions. There is a good turn out from the community for the meeting. Phebian introduces us to the community and then we begin our teaching session. I presented CPR, Kirk - helping babies breath, and Vicki - helping babies breath. They seemed receptive and the TBA's (traditional birth attendants) sat front row to see the demonstration. There are 7 of them in the community. Like I mentioned before, the TBA's are under scrutiny from the SL government to not do home births. The truth of the matter is, most births do end up happening at home by TBA's.
Teaching in Jaima village - the TBA's
During this visit, I was able to interview 2 hernia repair cases - one woman and one man who had the procedure done within the past month or two. They were so happy and grateful to have this simple procedure done. I look forward to sharing these interviews. I also interviewed Pastor Joshua so that everyone can get to know him better. He's been so amazing on this trip. During our visit in Jaima, there was a slight miscommunication there about the purpose of our visit. We had to make the touch decision of not seeing patients there even though they wanted us to. It was either we treat all or none. That was not the purpose of our visit and we made the tough decision to not hold a clinic there. We encouraged the community to go to the well run medical center for their health needs and that Phebian will continue her monthly visits there. Phebian told us that they believe that our medication "is better" and that they will wait in line for us to "touch them." We enjoyed our visit to Jaima. On the way back, we made plans to meet with the program director of World Vision in the Kono district to talk about their clean water project. We are meeting with her tomorrow on the way to Wama Village.
Phebian with a young man s/p hernia repair
Tomorrow is our last clinic day and we look forward to meeting the Wama village community. Thanks for the prayers, they are felt. God is so good!