8.8.07

Prevention Prevention Prevention

It's the middle of the night between day 2 and day 3 of a medical clinic in Pansalché. I think it's fair to say that medical clinics are the most exhausting jobs I do here: supervising a pharmacy, managing drop-ins (patient lists are pre-arranged, so we don't accept many drop-ins, so basically it means saying "no"), occasional translation for the doctor, and the biggie: handing the medication to the patients. I have to explain how to take or apply each medication from vitamins to antibiotics to creams and eye drops.

I'm wiped at the end of the day. Yesterday evening, I read Blaise his 2 books before bed and then fell asleep right there on the bed - 7:45 pm. So now I'm eating grapefruit and going "ga-ga" over the new iMacs.

As to the title topic, prevention, it is so frustrating having to give medication for the same ailments over and over when these same ailments are easily prevented.
  • HEADACHES: because people don't drink water and they spend a lot of time in the sun
  • HEARTBURN and REFLUX DISEASE: because people drink heaps of coffee and other stomach irritants
  • SORE EYES: because of all the smoke in the home from their open fires
  • STOMACH WORMS: because food is prepared alongside live chickens, dogs, dirt floors and because the water is not purified up to standard
  • CHILDREN'S MALNUTRITION: because of appetite killers such as coffee and candy being fed to children from ages 0 and up
  • SHOULDER and BACK PAIN: because people are not doing simple stretching exercises before and after long days of strenuous work
That said, these aren't actually all that easy to prevent considering some of the situations people are living in with no potable water, open fires in their kitchens, dirt floors, long work days, and super low incomes.

The cases that are really heartbreaking though are the ones that aren't preventable. For exampe, the man we saw whose feet were run over by a tractor 5 years ago and has a hard time walking (I thought he might be drunk), but lives at the top of a mountain and works in the valley pulling carts of garbage, only half days because the pain is too much.

3 comments:

dawn said...

That is so sad, especially the guy with the bad feet. I hope there are a few people who are learning some prevention. I guess you can only change the environment one person at a time. It would be hard to look at the whole area, and not feel frustrated, and to focus only on doing just what you can in the moment. I admire your ability to work there. Keep up the great work God has called you to do, and know that those of us who can't support you in thoughts and prayer.

April said...

Wow, that puts my life in perspective. So if you tried to describe your job, it will fill a book! Jack of all trades

Sirdar said...

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. I'm just supporting your cause :-)

They are sweeeeet!!