Sallie’s visit November/December 2010

11th April 2011

Visit by Sallie Buck, Hilary Smart, Sue Cross and Sue Crossman

The first ½ of this trip I was accompanied by Hilary Smart, who was on her 2nd trip. ….so it can’t be too bad. We had been notified in advance that the District Medical Officer had closed the clinic as we did not have a suitably qualified nurse in attendance and we needed to apply for a different licence to run the facility. We were aware that we only had Nurse Aides working in the clinic but were oblivious until the closure that it was mandatory to have a registered or enrolled nurse.  Although it was a shock that the clinic was closed we viewed this as an opportunity to liaise with the appropriate bodies and run it according to the Kenyan laws. We employed a nurse with the correct qualifications and applied for the correct licence from The Department of Health in Nairobi.

This was my 4th trip to Buburi and each time I learn more about the culture, it is a bit like peeling an onion….including the tears! It is essential to run the clinic properly according to local customs and laws.

It was a tremendous relief when the clinic was re-opened, the community were so grateful. Hilary was thrilled that this happened before she left so that she could see patients.

Prof Sue Cross and Sue Crossman came for the 2nd two weeks; both were novices to Africa but keen to see what the work entailed. As both these nurses are educationalists we ran teaching sessions for our community health workers, these ladies work as volunteers collecting information from communities that are collated and then used to plan health initiatives for the District. The sessions were on nutrition, and maternal and child health, and were held on the veranda of the clinic. Sometimes patients would join in and one of the workers brought her 3 week old twins. The sessions involved much hilarity with some singing and dancing and at one stage the two Sues even demonstrated the Gay Gordon’s!

Over the past few years we have noticed that like many other countries there seems to be an increase in the amount of patients being diagnosed with diabetes. Having discussed this with The Public Health Dr, he said there were no figures for incidence of diabetes in this area of Kenya. He would be very keen for us to undertake a pilot study and this is something we are seriously considering later this year.

The highlight of our trip this year has to have been the wedding we attended in Kisumu of our Co-ordinator Rom Wandera. He has in fact been married to his wife for 30 years but not in the sight of God. Traditionally in this culture marriages are often arranged and a bride price paid, however earlier last year Rom was very seriously ill and on recovering his health his priest told him that he should rectify this and marry his wife…so literally the fatted calf was killed and we were invited to take part in the splendid celebrations that followed.

I am half hoping that my trip in 2011 won’t be quite so exciting!


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