Saturday, January 04, 2020

Happy New Year (Boas Entradas)

Greetings from rainy Huila province in Angola! We celebrated a warm, wet Christmas with gifts sent through a visitor earlier in the month to supplement our local "pla├ža" purchases for each other. I received a nice, warm herbal bath that i almost drained away through the confusion of thinking my bath was in the usual bathing bucket. Priscila had a magical way of making our time quite special.

Since our last post, we welcomed the De Sousa family to Kalukembe for a week before Christmas. Dr. Eduardo and Jocelyn (FNP) both were a delightful help in patient care at the hospital and they also helped in our continuing medical education two-day seminar at the end of the week. They serve at a surgical hospital in Lubango, and we are very thankful for their loving hearts for both our patients and colleagues. Jocelyn's parents and her four children also kept our kids busy with crafts and cookie-making when they were not out playing.

The nursing housing renovation project is also underway! Hope you enjoy those and other pictures below!

Cerebral and other severe forms of malaria have been burdening the local population in recent months. It's one miraculous recover i never tire to see when a seizing and unconscious child one day will be sitting up and eating breakfast two days later. It's also a very heavy burden when one sibling dies and the family is torn whether to remain at the hospital for the other one's care or abandon the care to return to the village. It is not easy for parents (most of our patients with severe malaria are children), navigating decisions made with other relatives regarding financial and health priorities. Please pray for our patients and their families; for our colleagues to give treatment proactively and caringly in spite of poor overnight staffing; and for improved prevention efforts, including that mosquito nets will be available to everyone.

Mahulo is a burn patient who suffered contractures and an infection at an outside hospital, but survived a 25% body surface area burn. Thanks in part to your support, he received contracture release operation and some skin grafting! His right elbow had been stuck with his hand in the "Thinker" pose before operating. Since this photo, he's been discharged and getting outpatient dressing changes. We celebrate his progress!

Rain never slows Zeke's dancing down! So far this season, the rains have been good for southern Angola crops. For this, we are very thankful given the previous dry rainy season

Enjoying a sunset on the beach with Eliel. Happy new year!

A somewhat "before" picture of a room in the staff housing area. The walls were already done before this picture was taken.

New metal shutters are replacing the old ones. And there are other old windows that had been sealed off that are now opened up again and given new shutters, too. We don't know the progress of the funding to date, but we had 50% needed to begin last month. Thanks for your support! 

Dr. Eduardo De Sousa at the continuing education course. Our audience included doctors and nurses from area government hospitals and clinics as well as nurse clinicians from our hospital and some of IESA's remote outlying clinics. Dr. Eduardo, who used to work with poly-substance abuse patients on Ojibwe reservations in Minnesota, talked about domestic violence and pregnancy. It was very well received and we are really thankful for his experience and openness to bring culturally sensitive topics like this to the seminar. 

Priscila giving a talk on vesicovaginal fistulas at the same seminar. Most of the seminar was focused on Maternal and neonatal health and care. Audience participation was as high as ever. . . especially because almost everyone acted out different patient scenarios Priscila provided. We are thankful to the Fistula Foundation and individuals who support ongoing education efforts!

Children of hospital staff sharing their approval at the building progress in their neighborhood. Thanks for making a difference in their lives!