Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update on the Cholera situation...

Yesterday we erected a containment area for our two cholera patients and got a bunch of our CTC equipment out of storage. We haven't had any more people come for treatment, but we have heard that some areas are being infected with the bacteria again. We continue to pray and trust God to stay the possible outbreak again, but only time will tell what will happen...

That said, our two patients are doing very well, and we're hoping for their speedy recovery! The nice thing about cholera is that it's usually very predictable: once you have someone in, getting treatment, they usually turn around in a few days. There are some severe cases in which the individual needs extended treatment, but about 80% of the time, they're only in for a few days.

So, please continue to pray for the situation here...

Here, Breanna sprays bleach water on herself, after coming out of the "containment" area.
The plastic fence was put up yesterday by the guys...

Here's an overview of the "containment" area.

This is the latest patient- a middle aged woman.
She was in need of extra liquids, so they put two IVs into her.

Anita speaks with a concerned relative about the situation.
To the Haitians, cholera is basically a death sentence...
Thankfully, we can give concerned loved ones quite a bit of hope for recovery!

The trash bin, laundry, and wash bins...

We go through LOTS of bleach when dealing with cholera...

The nurses track the amount of fluids each patient takes in, so they can better track recovery.

Here, Anita uses her iPod to calculate an IV's drip rate.
It's important to get the right amount going in- not too much, not to little!

Friday, March 30, 2012


What went through your mind when you read the title of this post?

Probably the same thing that went through my mind yesterday when I heard that word come across the radio... Someone had come into the clinic with symptoms of the dreaded sickness, and they were evaluating the patient.

Later on I went out to make a phone call on the depot roof; as I came through the gate, there was the spray bottle of bleach water... and below the depot roof I could see them preparing one of the white tents for cholera containment. After my phone call, I went in and checked on the lady in the tent; she sure looked like she had cholera. After that, Anita did confirm that the lady had been infected...

So, please pray that this is simply an isolated case, not the beginning of another epidemic! We have been hoping that the rainy season wouldn't cause another outbreak, but only time will tell... By this morning, the lady is doing very well, and will probably be released by this evening.

If it does turn into an epidemic again, we determined that we wouldn't be able to start up another CTC here in Aleg; since the new clinic isn't done yet, and we're using the former CTC building (the depot) as the current clinic, we don't have the facilities to care for people... we will have to take them up to Basis to be treated. Of course, if a serious case comes in, we will treat them here until they're well enough to be transferred to Basis; but we won't be able to treat the same amount as we were before.

Again, please pray for us as we continue to wait and trust God for the best... May His will be done.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A normal day at the clinic...

Today was just another normal day at the clinic, with no strange or unusual cases coming in. Even so, I snapped some pictures of everyone doing their jobs so you can see what all goes into everyday life here...

Breanna's main job is to check everyone's blood pressure and dossiers.

Fre Direk is the receptionist...

Mis Leida is one of our main Haitian nurses;
She gives evaluations and writes prescriptions for people.

Mis Joselin is also a Haitian nurse which gives consultations.

Fre Noaz sees people in, and calls out their numbers as their turn comes.

Patients waiting their turn outside...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Madam Daniel's baby!

Madam Daniel's Baby.
March 24th, 2012
-By Breanna Keller
At 5:00 this morning I awoke from my deep, sweet slumber to a faint “clang clang clang”. Someone is knocking at the gate (with a rock)! Finally! I’m able to distinguish one sound from another here!  That doesn’t sound like a large achievement, I know – but when I first arrived, the people on the compound here would often say to each other, “Someone’s knocking at the gate, wanna go check it out?” I’d stand there straining my ears and all I could hear were roosters, donkeys, people talking, the generator, etc. Anyways, so this morning I smugly lay in bed delighted that I was probably among the first to hear the knocking.  It continued, and I was just about to wake up Anita because I figured someone should answer the plea.  But then I heard voices and knew the visitor was being assisted. A few minutes later – over the radio came the call that a lady in labor is going to be arriving soon!  After a short delay to process the information coming over the radio – and a second call put forth, a groggy Anita answered and said she’d be getting up and would be out soon.  Since I’m her shadow, I followed suit (The shadow thing is kind of our joke.  I’m still quite new here obviously and I’m pretty much following her everywhere learning how things run. Also as an extra set of hands that also need much explaining done to them on how to perform various tasks: ).
The laboring lady (Madam Daniel, the cleaning lady who works at the clinic) had walked about 20 minutes. She had to stop every several minutes for a break and probably a contraction – and she arrived complete.  She did an excellent job the short time she was here before delivering and throughout.  Michael said it was the second quietest birth he’s heard in Haiti (characteristically laboring mothers scream, holler, and moan.  The reason I personally know that is because last time I was here on a team in January, I missed a considerable fraction of two nights of sleep due to their noises wafting through the compoundJ.  Any concept of reserve is comparatively nonexistent).   Anita also did a wonderful job as midwife and without much delay; a beautiful, healthy 6# 13oz baby boy was born. He got cleaned up right away, weighed, dressed and wrapped in a cute blue blanket and finally presented to the mother.  Praise the Lord all went well!

Here's the healthy little guy! All ready to go!

The medical team that helped with the birth:
Breanna, Anita, and Michael

Breanna and the baby :)

Mama and baby are doing very well and went home later on in the day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Another little bundle

We had another safe birth just a few days ago. The mother came in I think on Tues just as clinic was finishing. We gave her a bed in the hospital room, and keep checking on her. Labor was slow, but later evening it picked up. Her baby girl was born just after 11 pm, weighing 6 lbs 11 oz.

It was an interesting situation. The mother and mother-in-law of the lady delivering were there, but there seemed to be some conflict. During and after the birth as I worked with them, I just had a very strange feeling about the mother. She, the Grandmother to the baby, seemed to want to hold the baby soon after it was born, but I just had a strange sense about it and had Breanna keep the baby till we had it cleaned and dressed.

The next morning there was still conflict, and the Haitian workers at the clinic picked up on it. As I understood it there was conflict in the family, and the mother didn't like her son-in-law. Mis Leda said that sometimes in those cases the Grandmother will try to do something to hurt the baby out of spite toward the guy. I was SO thankful that God protected us and the baby from any evil intentions and didn't allow anything like that to happen.

God is SO good!

This little one seemed to like making faces for the camera!

Breanna and I

Breanna Keller is now here working as a nurse at the clinic.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A SERIOUS ear infection...

Often we have very strange and extreme cases coming into the clinic, but I don't think there has been one this bad in the recent past, that I can remember...

Yesterday this poor lady came into the clinic with two serious ear infections: so serious, the skin was literally rotting off and her ear canals were both non-exitstant, being closed by the inflammation of the infection.

Michael described it as an "open cellulitis"...

When I arrived with the camera, Michael had already operated on her right ear, 
and was working on the left.

The infected tissue had to be removed, and the area cleaned.
You can see how the infection was spreading down her neck...

The left side wasn't as bad as the right and, after a while, it too was cleared of dead tissue...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A house call...

On Sunday we received a request to do a house call for an elderly lady. They said she was having shortness of breath and chest pain, so Anita, Virginia and Brieanna went to check things out.

So, off we trekked down the riverbed to find her house...

Thankfully, the riverbed was dry, even though we've had lots of rain recently.

The dear lady seemed to be in much pain, but everything checked out well.

As we left to get some medication for her, the family thanked us for coming.

Some impressive rock formations in the riverbed...

It was a shorter walk than some of us were thinking... only about 15 minutes!

Walking back home.

As was mentioned before, it's been raining quite a bit;
Here's a thunderhead that was threatening the horizon with its presence.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Update on recent baby...

Yesterday we had a post about the little baby girl who hadn't eaten for 15 days; several hours after she came in, we decided she needed to go out to the hospital in town. She had stabilized and we felt it would be better for her to be in the hospital.

So, yesterday when Michael went out, the mother and baby rode along with... We are hopeful for her recovery!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A 15 day fast... for a newborn.

Today a woman came in with her newborn baby girl. It is severely emaciated, and when asked when the last time it ate, she said it hadn't eaten since it was born-- 15 days ago!

Michael, Anita and Virginia are working hard to keep it alive and revive it. It's in very bad shape.

Please be praying for the baby, and us, as we try to save its life...

Trying to get an IV started...

It took some time to find a good vein...

Watching the IV drip rate...

Finally! A blood vessel that took!

Setting the IV

The poor little girl... she started perking up, and tried to cry, but couldn't...

Friday, March 9, 2012

An afternoon hike

There is a man from church that has been wanting us to give medicine for his wife now for a long time, but she is not able to get around well and thus doesn't get down to the clinic. (They live up the mountain about 35 minutes hike from the mission.) Andrew, his sister Abigail, Alex, and I hiked up there Wed afternoon. It was a pleasant afternoon hike. She was indeed an interesting case. I don't know exactly what she has, but her hands are all gnarled up. It seemed to be some sort of muscle disorder. Even though there wasn't a lot to do for her, they seemed to appreciate the visit, and the view along the way was lovely.

Hiking along
Checking her blood pressure

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