Sallie and Katie have just returned from a 4 week trip to the clinic at Buburi. It was great to see further development of the work there. The nurses were seeing around 50-60 patients per day, which is a bit more than normal but we put the increase down to the Mzungo effect and also a fresh supply of drugs and malaria testing equipment.
Almost 50% of the patients are under 5 years and the majority have malaria, although there is a fair amount of chest infections and parasites and for the first time there were a number of young children with malnutrition which was quite distressing. The problems they are having in the north of Kenya are far greater, however if the short rains fail at the end of September as did the long rains at the beginning of the year then the problem of malnutrition will greatly increase.
It was Katie Dixon’s first visit to Africa and she really enjoyed really enjoyed the trip and was a great help, she found it difficult at first to get a blood sample from babies for a malaria test but she very quickly became an expert and must have done hundreds of tests.
Friends of Buburi are planning to undertake some research next year into the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in a rural community. Dr Wamalwa who is the public health Dr for Samia district is very interested in the project. We are also being supported by Dr Phil Evans who is a GP with a special interest in Diabetes and a research fellow at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter. Our interest in Diabetes stems from the fact that there appears to be quite a lot of diabetes in Buburi, yet they don’t appear to have the same risk factors as we do in the west such as obesity, fast food and sedentary life style, in fact they don’t appear overweight and work exceedingly hard