Not sure if it’s rainy season or not


So I planned on writing this blog post on Friday but since we are on Kenya time waiting until the next Tuesday is perfectly acceptable. Last week I did a lot of reading up on the Maternal Ultrasound by Midwives (MUMs) program that I have been a part of since coming to K-MET. I read a lot of the literature that it appears MUMs used to fuel the creation of the program. All of the studies talked about the importance of ultrasound and how useful of a tool it can be in diagnostic medicine – especially when it comes to being used for observation of the developing fetus. Other studies found that ultrasound could also be used to determine if a child was dehydrated based upon a ratio of the inferior vena cava circumference to the aorta circumference as determined by ultrasound screening. Most importantly these studies stressed how easily ultrasounds can be used in rural areas of Africa where care is the most underdeveloped by simply teaching healthcare professionals to use and care for the machines properly. It seemed like accessibility to rural areas is one of the biggest challenges here so I plan on meeting with Sam, the administrative manager of K-MET, this week to talk about how we could setup an initiative that would work towards raising money to buy a vehicle that K-MET could use as a mobile health clinic to better serve rural Kenya. My hope would be that money could be raised over time to get a vehicle that could house laboratory equipment to do tests for things like malaria and typhoid or HIV out in the field as well as a bed for ultrasound on mothers that otherwise cannot reach a local hospital or clinic. I know it would be expensive but it is still something that I am excited to talk to Sam about to see what K-MET has done so far on their path to achieving this goal.

Wednesday I was at the Nyamasaria clinic doing ultrasounds all day again and then I even came back that afternoon to the Corkran clinic to do two ultrasounds which was nice because we don’t get too many ultrasounds here at the Corkran clinic…or at least not of late. Friday we went on a health outreach program to a primary school in Nyalenda. I went along to run the ultrasound clinic. I was confused as to why’d I should do maternal ultrasounds at a primary school but luckily I had no student patients, just teachers and parents. That was a relief because I have already had my fair share of young patients around 14 and 15 years old. The outreach program handed out deworming pills and vitamin A and included all laboratory tests offered at the clinic and a dental portion where toothbrushes and toothpaste were given to students. I don’t think people told the community that I only know how to do maternal ultrasounds because I got a few patients that came in to tell me they had a cough or sore throat and wanted ultrasound but…that doesn’t really require an ultrasound probably just some cough drops or cough syrup. So I see that sometimes and I feel bad not being able to do anything but if I examined them for anything other than a baby in their belly then they would probably be diagnosed with some really outlandish medical condition because I don’t know how to do other types of ultrasound.

Last weekend I finally got the chance to golf in Kenya on Lake Victoria at the Nyanza Club which was really cool. It was only $25 to play and rent clubs and get a caddy and it was a pretty nice course actually. I am horrible so I won’t disclose my score but I was still only in the double digits after 9 holes so that’s a victory for me. Then it rained and a few other mzungus we met here and I played squash for a bit. It will be nice these last few weekends because we will be out of Kisumu and traveling around so we get to see some new things. On Sunday then I attended a meeting with a local LGBTI group with Ludi and Emily and it was really interesting to hear their stories since being gay in Kenya is very much looked down upon and they still face a lot of repression here. They have a lot of great ideas on how to try and have their voices heard and methods to work towards sensitizing the local community so hopefully we get to work with them more.

It rains a lot at night and last week I got caught in a massive rain storm every time I tried to come home from playing frisbee in the park. So that was exciting because every time I tried to find cover in a mud hut it would flood and I’d be standing ankle deep in muddy water. I fell into a bush last week during frisbee so I am covered in scratches and what not and they are really itchy. I randomly got a lot of bug bites this past week to but no malaria so that’s a plus. I have heard that we are going into the rainy season and I have heard we are coming out of a rainy season now so I am not sure which one it is. Either way I can tell you it rains pretty much every night.

Next week is training local medical school students how to use ultrasound so I am looking forward to that. It is a mixture of lecture and clinical settings so I am hoping to learn a lot more myself about maternal ultrasound.



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