Trip Start Jan 04, 2010
11Trip End Feb 26, 2010
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After working in the hospital and seeing the outpatient clinics, I have hope that healthcare there is moving in the right direction. AMPATH has plenty of free medications to support all of the HIV and TB positive people in the area. The hospital, it seems, is for the patients who came to get help too late. Most of the patients we can help, but we saw too many die in front of us. I also have a feeling we sent home many too soon before they were fully well. Even though at times in the hospital we ran out of medications and fluids, we still managed to get by. At least that is what I thought. For most of the patients, we really had no idea what we were treating. There was a lot of intuition and good clinical guessing. You couldn't rely on cultures of any kind and there was no constant monitoring of heart rate or blood pressure. Kenyans are also very stoic people, so any kind of pain was not expressed. Even though the main focus in Kenya is infectious disease, at least half of the patients were suffering from some type of chronic disease. Diabetes is a huge issue and very diffucult to control especially in the hospital. My PharmD project is actually finding the baseline data for these patients, so the hospital can implement a diabetes nurse. The nursing care at the hospital is also very erratic, so a nurse dedicated to just one disease state will be a huge help in diabetes care.
After almost drowning in the Nile and getting malaria, I am so glad I didn't end up in a Kenyan hospital. I probably would have come home with TB.
I would love to go back one day to see if anything has changed in their healthcare, and also to go to the really nice camps in the Masai Mara and to Island Camp at Lake Baringo. I am pretty sure I have post-traumatic stress disorder after white-water rafting and probably will never do that again.
So, so long everyone. I might try and put some other pictures up from the other students whenever (if ever) I get the chance.
Asante sana and Kwa Heri!