Friday, May 13, 2011

Clinic Experience

The market! It is packed with thousands of people selling anything you can think of. It is a little overwhelming because people are all around you and it is hard to move.

This guy sold us some fruit and he was super eager to be in a picture - he even posed.

This is how they fill in pot holes in Kenya - with dirt. The problem is that the cars drive over the newly filled holes and the dirt becomes a cloud of dust and the hole remains.

This is my foot covered in the dust of Kenya. All the "sidewalks" here are dirt paths and it is so dry there is a lways a cloud of dust in the air. By the end of the day you have to shower and wash off the layer of Kenyan dust that has accumulated on your skin.

Today I had the chance to go out to a smaller HIV clinic with one of the American doctors who has been here for 12 years. It was a great experience. AMPATH has set up 55 clinics around Western Kenya to provide HIV care. The clinic I went to today was about 1 hour from Eldoret in a town called Turbo.

I saw about 8 patients with Dr. Mamalin, and it was an eye opening experience. First, it was amazing how many patients were at the clinic. It made me realize that HIV is a pandemic in Kenya. The small clinic that I visited is currently serving 7,000 HIV positive patients. They come in every 1-6 months depending on how good they are doing and are able to get their medications, see the doctor, and get labs drawn for free.

My eyes were also opened to the devastation of tuberculosis in Africa. Of the 8 HIV patient we saw 3 of them has tuberculosis. I was shocked to meet one lady that was dying from TB, she was probably my height and weighed 60-70 lbs. She was the most emanciated person I have ever seen.

The wonderful thing was to see how the doctors and support staff are fighting for the patients. They are not giving up on them and they are working to try and get them the care they need to survive these awful illnesses. I was just blown away by what AMPATH has established here. Even though there is still a long way to go it was neat to see how the organization is making a difference in the lives of individual people.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Dad's following you, too, and we were just talking about the devastating circumstances surrounding your visit.

    Side note: I'm glad to know that you wash your feet. :)