Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We spent last week at the Mutoya Camp, located just outside downtown Mongu.  We spent our week working at the Village of Hope's Feeding clinic, walk-in clinic and taught a community health course.  We started the week by teaching 11 adult students a community health course.  This course was a good refresh course for us and allowed us to learn more of the traditional Lozi ways and customs.  Only 3 of the students spoke English, so they translated our teachings to the rest of the class.  Evidently, it took a while to get some of our points across, but in the end we feel that the students learned a lot.  Asking questions for prizes really helped increase their interest!  It was sad leaving the students knowing that we weren't done teaching the course, but we know they are in good hands with our peers!  We are also excited to return to the class next Friday for the students course graduation! 
The rest of the week we were a part of the feeding program as there was two malnourished girls admitted to the program.  One of the girls had Kwashiorkor malnourishment, which is due to deficiencies in protein and it portrayed by general edema and overall apathy.  This 6 year old girl was an absolute sweetheart.  She had edema to her face and stomach (which had subsided since she started feeding properly) and was anything but apathetic, her smile lite up the room.  The other girl was 2 years old and had Marasmus malnourishment which is caused by a lack familial and nutritional support (an overall calorie deficiency).  It is portrayed by extreme weight loss.  This young girl was cute as a button.  At the beginning of the week she wouldn't eat and was extremely fussy, but after perseverance and around the clock feedings (3 am walks to the clinic!) she was becoming much more receptive to food.  We are so pleased that she has such a supportive caretaker who took her in during her time of need.  It was heart warming when we left because although we did not speak the same language, the girls caregivers gratitude towards us was apparent in their expressions and gestures (pointing at us and rubbing their hearts).
Working in the clinic was a new experience for us as we were diagnosing and prescribing medications.  Although it is out of our scope in Canada, we were told in Africa community nurses are allowed to make minor prescriptions if no doctor is available.  At the clinic we got to see cases of Malaria, Pinworm, query TB, Tonsilitis, Synovial, Fluid build-up in knees and Flu/Common cold.
The sunsets in the evening were beautiful from the clinic (which was located high up on a dirt hill, our feet were filthy the whole time we were there!).  We had a fun night playing football with the local children and other village workers.  We were also fortunate enough to go to the Central Black and Green Markets with our Village of Hope nurse Lihanna.  It was awesome of her to take us there for a great lunch and help us find the best shetengas (wraps) in the market.  We really appreciate the time she took to show us arounf.  Although we had a great week we were excited to get back to our main home in Malewnga.
This weekend we went on a boat cruise in the flood plains.  It was a fundraiser so that they could afford emergency carts for all units at the hospital.  It was an excellent time, good company, great food and excellent dancing.
The week to come should be good, we are working in the Out Patient Department and Maternity wards, so hopefully some good learning!
<3 Toni and Melissa

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