Sunday, March 08, 2020

A month past

Coming in to Lubango is a great boon for internet use and communication. However, we don't often get to personal writings we'd like to do and we get sucked into other work-related communications and obligations. Sorry! We want to share the progress made in February individually, but will start with pictures and their stories for everyone. Along that vein, thanks so much to your generous giving, our nurse housing project is 90% funded! This next week, the work is expected to wrap up and handed over to our local workers and electricians to complete painting and electrical work, etc. We are incredibly thankful to be almost funded, almost done and with nurses ALMOST moved back in!

Below are a few photos of the February that passed.

(Dead) Centrifuge Central. I took some inventory of lab machines to let a potential visitor through Samaritans Purse know what machines were available and what were in need of servicing. All 6 of these centrifuges were sitting in our lab, not functioning for some reason or another. Two more were also broken. For lack of maintenance, we have quite a few machines like these sitting around. If you have mechanical abilities and are interested in fixing hospital machines, you are most welcome! We do have local workers who help fix our chronically breaking down hospital generators, but for smaller machines like these, it has been a challenge to find capable servicing. We hope that if we get a container coming (still in the process since December 2018), there would be visitors who could help install newer donations and fix some of these guys! 

Nurses Cecilia and Joaquina preparing 8pm medicines to hand out to around 70 kids on our children's ward. February was a busy month with ongoing malaria season and staff nursing shortages. Making sure patients received the correct medicines through the correct routes and doses was a big challenge we worked together to achieve. Especially these two nurses have done tremendous work in maintaining caring and kind attitudes towards our patients throughout. . . not easy when families are trying to use their charcoal cook stoves in patient rooms and sleeping entire families on the floor as nurses try to deliver the late night medications!

Home schooling continues! Or, doing our best to instill the joy of reading and learning with our kids.  I am glad our kids love stories and that is mostly to Priscila's credit. 

Reconnecting with patients over the years in Chituto is a delight. This mother's story I posted in 2017 had suffered the losses of 3 children around their births. This is now her second child to have survived, the first born through Cesarean section. Glad to celebrate health with her and this 5 month old (who did have malaria on the day I visited. . . but got the right care!). I was quite encouraged by the opportunity to keep caring periodically for people of the Chituto area and to bring Zeke and Dr. Lena Gamble along this time.  We included prenatal ultrasounds with general medicine consults. 
Our Children's ward has seen this every morning for the past 2 weeks: overflow admissions from the night before on mattresses in the hallways with even 3 siblings to a bed. There have been quite a few challenges to be encouraging and help the nurses not miss the sick kids hiding literally between the sheets. Keep praying! There were promised mosquito nets that perhaps got diverted to other places and we've run out of IV fluids. 
Naomi helping Zeke up to take a look at the nurse housing renovations. The project is nearing completion and we are almost there with the support. Thank you so much! It has been exciting to see our nurse colleagues are eager to move in! If interested in giving, please visit the website here.