Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hernia Patients and Ultrasound

Currently, we have two medical providers from Jericho Road Community Health Center in Sierra Leone helping to provide medical care at our newly opened health center. The Adama Martha Memorial Community Health Center has been open for over four months providing much needed primary and urgent health care to the Kono District of Sierra Leone. It's been a busy four months as our Sierra Leone based team has been seeing over 100 patients per day, including delivering a few babies and restarting the hernia repair program.

Our two medical providers on the ground there now are in awe of the work being done and have jumped right in to help. Rebecca Beardsley, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwife, has been helping primarily with prenatal / OB care and sonogram training. She's leaving behind a 'step-by-step OB Ultrasound Manual' for dating and fetal heart rate that she developed. Paul Violanti, a Family and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, has been helping the CHO's see patients with all sorts of medical conditions. He observes that our health clinic has already become a 'fixture in the health delivery system in the Kono District.' What we have been able to accomplish there is truly remarkable.

Below is one of Rebecca's emails that she wrote on June 6, 2015.

The day began at the clinic with starting IV's on patients going for hernia surgeries at the government hospital later today. I started 2 IV's this morning on patients about to go for hernia surgery. Both were young men who had hernias most likely from due to hard manual labor and heavy lifting constantly. One of the 5 patients was a small child. All 5 patients go for hernia repair surgery today and then return for post op care at our clinic.

Paul and Karlin starting an IV on the youngest hernia patient
After the morning meeting with singing, prayer, and a message on how our thoughts/perspective affect our actions: the 2 CHO's performed 2 circumcisions (one on a newborn and one on a child about 4 years old). There was more assessing of how things are going and what is needed.

I rode on our ambulance with a hernia patient to the government hospital. When you get to the hospital, everyone has to get out of the ambulance and wash hands with chlorine solution and get temperature taken due to Ebola precautions. We dropped one patient off and picked up the other to go back to clinic for monitoring. 

Using our ambulance to transport patients

The Operating Room at Koidu Government Hospital
Upon returning to the clinic there were 2 pregnant patients waiting for Ultrasound. Phebian and Michael (CHO) went in with me to learn how to date a pregnancy. We had one 21 weeker and one 29 weeker. I am still learning as I am teaching so it is challenging for all of us but we are making progress.

Later in the day, Paul and I had some time with the 2 CHO's, Michael and Augustine, as well as the Nurse Fatmate, and the Pharmacist Pastor Samuel. We reviewed Helping Babies Breath/basic resusitation of a newborn baby. They did some hands on training with the ambu bag and bulb syringe and we talked through different scenarios. Then Paul taught on some different diseases and the use of different antibiotics. We also had some good discussion on how things are here in Sierra Leone versus the States.

The hernia patients will stay here tonight and for about 5 days for recovery/antibiotics and to ensure no complications before they can go home. No patients tomorrow, but I'm sure there will be much to do. 

Much Love from Sierra Leone,


Thank you for your prayers and support of our medical mission project!

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