Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to the ravine

I went back to Christian Light Ministries on Monday evening so I could walk the ravine again on Tuesday. I spent my first night ever under a mosquito net. We don't have many mosquitos around HFC. In fact, for the 5 months that I lived there, I don't remember being bit once. On my last few trips, I have been bit occasionally (what happened to my wonderful immunity from last year?) but nothing intense. And the nice thing is that these bites don't itch at all! Granted, they might carry malaria, but for the short term, I am perfectly happy with the lack of itchy-ness.One of my patients was this little school girl. She had come to school on Monday with 2 open wounds on her thumb and her pinkie finger. She couldn't tell the staff where they came from or when they had first appeared. Her whole hand was swollen with infection. She is now on antibiotics and getting the hand washed, dressed with triple antibiotic ointment, and bandaged daily. Lisette, the Haitian who assists on the medical rounds, said that the swelling had already gone down some as of Tuesday thanks to the antibiotics.
CLM runs a school with grades K-5. They have about 120 students currently. They teach courses in English and French, so the kids are fluent in English by the time they reach 4th or 5th grade. They will continue to add grades as the children age.
They are building a new facility just down the road. This room will be the clinic.
After my rounds in the ravine where we treated the usual malaria, head fungus, colds, fevers, and some dehydration thanks to the significant jump in heat in the last 5 days, we came back to the house. A baby from Gonaives was brought in for me to examine. His name is Johnny Joseph and he is 13 months old. His mother said that he is off the breast and she can only afford to feed him a few times a week. He was badly dehydrated, feverish, and weak when I saw him. He will stay with Sherrie at CLM for a few days and then be taken to a home on Delmas 75 for malnourished children. He'll stay there for about 6 months or more, until he is healthy enough to go home.

Look at him. 13 months! He couldn't have weighed more than 12 pounds.

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