Archive for June, 2018

International advocacy

June 8th, 2018 No comments

KenyaWorldMap-2in42u7-632x365So, this was a twist.  I got a message from my sister in law, looking for advice for her friend, who runs a mission in Kenya with her husband who is a pastor.  He had suffered with an infection in his lower leg for many weeks.  The doctors called it cellulitis, then he got a large sore that opened and drained a lot.  They saw a doctor and were given oral antibiotics after they did a culture and sensitivity of the drainage  to determine the correct medicine. According to his C/S report, he was on the correct antibiotics.  He was not responding. He developed another small sore and more redness,  his drainage didn’t stop and he had more pain.  She posted this photo.  I have seen this kind of thing so many times.  I offered this advice.  Go back to the doctor. Ask about IV antibiotics. Cover it so the children they care for in their home/mission do not get MRSA (staph).  Don’t mess with it because it could affect bone and the joint.   She got a ton of other advice, some much more technical on her FB page.  The next day he went into the hospital.

His infection was surgically cleaned out and he was put on IV antibiotics.  Today,, only 2 days later,  his lower leg is the normal size for the first time in many weeks.  This is definitely a blessing.

These incredibly generous and loving people have shared their story and experience and agreed to let me post some photos of the hospital they are at in Kenya.  This hospital is the best one there according to this woman.  I am sharing all of this because we often complain and worry about our own hospitals, and care and safety while getting care  This is not unfounded worry, but sometimes we forget what we have.

After this pastor had his surgery, his wife found him in a hallway, alone, and out of it.  They anticipated local anesthetic, but instead he got general anesthesia for his surgery. This wasn’t surprising since it is so  hard to anesthetize infected areas.   He was not being monitored, no pulse oxymetry, no nurse around.  His eyes were open but he had no idea what was going on.  This was extremely scary for this couple.  Think about post op arenas here in the US…with cardiac monitoring, nurses close by, , pulse oxymetry and pain control.

I am sharing these photos to show how stark and minimal the hospital setting is.  We are very fortunate here in the US.  I know not all of our facilities are equal, and I know that patient safety is a huge issue, but we must be thankful for what we do have. Despite the spartan surroundings in this Kenyan facility, this young Pastor is healing.

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They have only recently gotten this clear tape for IV ports.  They used white adhesive before this with bad results..not being able to see the site well, slipping etc.


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“Amenities????. Slippers, toilet paper, toothbrush, Colgate (any brand of tooth paste is Colgate here), body soap, mafuta (Vaseline) and a bath towel (it is the size of a hand towel). Oh and if you run out of any of these things during your stay you are required to purchase your own”

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“Toilet, shower and sink all in one small space. Notice there is no toilet seat/kid, that is the Kenyan way.”

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“The shower side and for the most part they keep this hospital very clean!”
I was so happy to help this couple.  They love and care for sick and malnourished children every day.  The response to a request for help came back to them in spades.  And it seems that he is now over the hump with this serious infection.
He much better and he is being discharged.   She shared his bill with me.  This bill is in shillings, which is equivalent to a penny in the US. So, the total bill for 3 days in the hospital, surgery with general anesthesia, and IV antibiotics was a around $1400.  Here is a photo of the second page of his bill.
She also shared that she believes that the reason his infection went on for so long is that there is no real medical record, and if they see a different doctor for the same problem, there is no communication from one doctor to the next, thus no continuity.
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