Monday, June 2, 2008
080531 Med Camp
Anandaban treats those afflicted by leprosy every day. It is an enormous task, as some need to stay a long time due to complications or needing surgery and physiotherapy to help reconstruct their ability to live outside. This can take months and sometimes recurring visits for years. Yet Anandaban also has the privelege of reaching out to the communities nearby that are in need of help. It will never be an understatement in Nepal: Life here is very different. While the US may be called the land of opportunity, people living in these conditions can live for generations with very limited options. That can be very difficult to understand, when we have become so used to always being able to "do something" about most problems we have. It is beautiful, but the foundational logistics of clean water, adequate power supply and food are issues here. This past Saturday, we were able to do another med camp in a village about 45 minutes further away from KTM (Kathmandu). It is really a unique opportunity. Someone donated funds. We take the funds, fill a the hospital bus with staff from the hospital, boxes of medicines and some local missionary type volunteers. We then travel to a site for a day to provide free medical checks. This weekend, we rode only 45 minutes further out into the hills. Someone had built a few buildings there as a school. We set up in several rooms there: a mens room, women, and pharmacy with med records holding a registration table outside. This trip, we had 8 doctors that traveled with us: 4 volunteer Nepali doctors, 2 Nepali doctors from Anandaban, an Irish doctor that previously worked at Anandaban who was back to visit (and could speak excellent Nepali) and a swiss volunteer (she had a translator beside her). That was the most doctor volunteers I had seen us to have, but we needed it! In less than 5 hours, they saw and treated roughly 435 people. Several cases were identified that needed surgery: several hernias, two with broken bones (1 from a month ago), and another who had had a perianal abcess for a month was carried in on a stretcher. We are so glad to have Dr. Indra, the new surgeon. These people are now scheduled to have surgery back at Anandaban this week. Because I'm lab personel, I can't really help the doctors much here! So, I help with crowd control. :) This helps to keep things orderly so they can properly work with each patient. I stood at the door of the room where women were seen by the doctors. I know how to smile and say "please come in", "please sit down", "please wait" and "another person please come". I can also take pics to help communicate with people back home. Sometimes, many of the people come with colds, stomach parasites/problems, aches and pains. Sometimes it is things more serious (like the surgery cases). At another camp, there was a young girl who had been unable to walk for months; but she had just been left in the house. We transported her to a hospital that day. And then there are the little ones. Nepalis usually have beautiful tar black hair, but some of the little ones in the villages don't. It's because of malnutrition. Sometimes, they are not usually responsive like normal, healthy babies either. They sometimes just stare or cry. When it looks like highlights, it can show seasonal changes in diet. Sometimes there is good food, sometimes not. Also, some of the girls marry very young (12-15 yrs, sometimes into homes of multiple wives), have many children and the cycles that occur for generations just keep going. How old do you think this girl is? And the child in front of her with severe malnutrition? (I do not think it was hers) Some of the volunteers also collected clothes and shoes in KTM to distribute. Here are some of the shoes that were donated to give to the kids in the village. These are the communities we are posted to work and live amongst. Some of these things, it just hurts to see them. And it should.
Posted by Deanna Hagge at 7:47 PM