Written by Ted & Jennifer Stacey
Monday morning - bright and early after our "day off" on Sunday, we had breakfast and loaded into the bus to head to a remote village, as they all have been - to help with the mobile medical clinic that we have paid for.
The village had not ever seen a mobile medical clinic before, and most people had not ever been tested in any way for anything. They were unsure of the needles, and they were very unsure of the Mzungus who were pricking their fingers, namely me... LOL
We were set-up with 2 doctors, 2 lab techs and 2 pharmacists. They expected 200 people at the clinic for testing for Malaria, HIV and any Eye or Stomach issues. We received over 500, and cut off the group at that time.
There were 2 stations for testing for Malaria and HIV, and I was with Donna who is another member of our team. We had people come to us with a note from the doctor, which indicated what they were being tested for. I held their hand, cleaned the finger with the alcohol, wiped it off, held their finger tight, pricked it with the clean and pre-packed lancet, wiped off the first drop of blood, and then held their finger while Donna collected the blood sample. Once the sample was collected, we put it on the test strip, applied the buffer and handed the final result to the lab tech, who read and recorded the result. We had approximately 20% of the 100 people tested come out positive for Malaria. There were no positive results for HIV.
Once the results were given to the doctor, they spoke to the patients and gave them prescriptions for medications, which they collected from the mobile pharmacists. Ted was working in the ambulance, which was the makeshift pharmacy. The pharmacist had Ted prepping medication in envelopes for easy dispensing. The patient handed the prescription to the pharmacist, who filled the order and gave it to the patient.
It was a busy day, and provided its drama, starting with a Epileptic patient who had a grand mal seizure while waiting to see the doctor, to the children who screamed incredibly loud and long because they didn't want their fingers pricked for testing. We were exhausted by the time we were done.
On the flipside, the team realized that we had time, funds and expertise to install an unexpected 2nd rain water collection system on the fly. We quickly arranged to have the remaining funds transferred, we selected the site, which was a Prenatal and Postpartum Medical Clinic, and Ted lead a small group of only 4 people to quickly install the system. We expected it to take a day and a half, and they got it done in only 1/2 a day! What an amazing accomplishment! The clinic staff were ecstatic and we were satisfied that we had done the most that we could while we were here!
Today, we visited Baby Justine's school. Baby Justine is a pastor's wife who was so-nicknamed because she willingly takes in orphan babies and finds homes for them. She has also created a primary school, that currently teaches over 300 children. When we got to the school, the teachers had prepared their students to speak English in unison to welcome us.
The entire school put on a presentation of singing and poetry, and then Baby Justine introduced each and every teacher to us. All the while, continuing to ask God for His blessings for us and thanking us over and over. By the end, a few of us were crying, and it was a moving experience. While we feel that we are not special, these people truly believe that we somehow have God's ear.
Our mission is at an end, and we are patiently waiting to have supper with all of our Give volunteers, Ben, Faruk, Omar, Godfrey, Richard, Henry, Esther, Nellie, and Lillian. It will be a tearful goodbye, but we have a surprise for them. We will all be singing We Are The World with all of them, which they have said is a song that touches their hearts!
Tomorrow morning, we are traveling to a Rainforest Resort to break down what we experienced, and relax before we fly out. Some will be heading out to a Safari, some are traveling to South Africa and Portugal, and some - like us - are heading home Thursday night.
We will write one more blog after we get home to wrap up our experience.
The Stacey's have one last journey... home... Part 5