Friday, March 17, 2017

Cervical cancer screening and Building Schools in our Area

This week Megan combined her work with our work with women on ART treatment.  We will be testing them with VIAC (visual inspection Analysis of Cervix) to assess cervical changes that could easily be cancer and also she will be doing cytology on those patients as well as testing menstrual pads for viral loads.

On Mondays we draw viral loads on HIV patients so we had a support meeting and Megan and her research assistants then explained their program to the women.  They were very excited to have this service offered to them.  We hope we can stop cervical cancer before it gets too far along in these high risk patients.

On Wednesday Nikki, Justin and son Noah Hess joined us for 3 days.  They represent ZRSP (Zimbabwe Rural Schools Program) that have been working with Major for several years to build and develop schools in our area.  They have built school blocks at Kemapondo and Batanai and have build new schools at Mukowe and Davare.  They have provided everything from boreholes for water at the school to school desks, teachers housing and pens and exercise books for the children.  They have been so helpful.  We have used these new schools as church buildings in our area and have built up big churches in these places.

They came to visit their projects and look at a new site and decide priorities for the next year.  We had a great time with them.  They live in South Africa now  but are Zimbabweans who grew up in Harare.  They actually live right down the street from Michael, Major's son who is in University in South Africa.  He enjoys meals at their house a lot--when they can afford to feed the hungry college student!  

We are thankful for their friendship and great help through their organization to our schools in our area.

Megan went home to Harare on Thursday so have a couple of days by myself to catch up on some paperwork and housework.  I am feeling much better and have more energy finally.

We haven't had rain for a about 8 days so we are wondering if this is the end of the rainy season a bit early.  Already we are seeing an increase in malaria cases which come when the rains stop.  We pray it will not be a bad year for malaria.  We still have a few cases of typhoid a week--up to 195 cases we have treated since December.

We want to invite anyone that reads this to plan on coming for our 50th anniversary celebration in January 2018.  Please save the date and join us.  Contact me if you have not received an invitation.

 Megan and AIDS Counsellors talking to women about Cervical Cancer

 Christine explaining to women about cervical cancer


Nikki, Justin discussing with Major

Invitation for our 50th Anniversary

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Busy week and weekend

This morning I awoke to a call to come to the hospital for 2 C/Sections.  One of our doctors who does anesthesia is away for 5 days at a workshop and our nurse anesthetist is on leave for the month--so I am call to do anesthesia.

We started work at 0700 and worked until just past 10 a.m.  Delivered 2 baby boys and moms and babies are doing fine.  Then I came home to shower, eat and go back up to do the discharges for the day.  I got home again about 12:30 p.m.

On Thursday morning Megan and Soren and Sara took off for a few days at Rhino Camp.  They were a big help to us here and we wish them well as they return to Stanford to work on their prototype.  Sara got to help with a C/Section when she was here and was so excited to do that.

Megan returns tonight and will be here through Friday to work on her research.  Monday and Tuesday Dr. Isala and Major will be away in Chinhoyi for a 2 day District health meeting--so I get to be here by myself keeping the hospital running.  I refer all C/Sections to Karoi if there any--so we pray everything will keep very quiet!

 Soren at work on our computers, Sara and Megan in background working

 Sara helping with a C/Section

 Soren and Sara

Our 2 C/Sections patients and babies in recovery room

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Visitors again

Part of life at Chidamoyo is visitors in and out.  On the 25th of February our 5 Ohio state Medical students left for a few days at Victoria Falls and Harare before they left for home on the 2nd and 3rd of March.  We said goodbye to Muneeb, Seema, Kate, Sam and Sophia and wish them well in their matches for residency and future careers in medicine.

On the 24th of February we had Dr. David Katzenstein from Stanford and Dr. Aunet Rosenthal from Tel Aviv, Israel and Caroline Maposa from Harare here through the 26th.  We were discussing our research project we are doing with our 340+ kids on ART treatment for AIDS.  We discussed where do we go from now and what are some of the social issues of the kids who are failing on the drugs.  It was a fun and busy time.

On Monday the 27th we were joined by 3 other Ohio State Medical students who had been doing their elective in Harare and wanted a "bush experience" too.  Stu, Jessica and Cindy joined us for 4 days and got to help with a C/Section do some spinals and get a lot of hands on experience.  they really enjoyed their time--although we had no electricity until the very last night they were here.  They really enjoyed no electricity and no internet!!  They also are awaiting their match results on March 17--so we wish all of their anxieties well!

On March 5th Megan, our resident from Stanford returned to work on her research project she has been doing with us since August last year.  This time she brought Sara and Soren who are from Denmark doing research at Stanford!  He arrived wearing a SF Giant hat and T-shirt!!  He was very welcomed by me!  They are doing a research project here also using a dried blood spot collected on a menstual pad to look at the HPV virus that Megan is studying too.  They leave tomorrow to all go for a couple of days of safari viewing at Rhino Camp.

Megan and Sara will be back on Saturday afternoon and stay until the next Friday to work on their research in our Lab.

Work at the hospital has been very busy as Doctors in the country have been on strike for 3 weeks and nurses for 1 week so many more patients flocked to mission hospitals where we do not strike.  Mondays are always a big day and we work hard!

We received great news this past week that the government has granted us another post for a doctor so we are accepting applications and will hopefully be hiring a third doctor by the end of the month!!  This will be a big help to our work and to me too--no more call-ha!

I had a minor procedure done at a hospital in Harare on the 22nd and was out by 1 p.m.  Thought I might come back the same day but started not feeling so well and decided if I went over our bad roads I would really get sick by the time we got home.  We spent the night at the townhouse and I slept for 11 hours and woke up feeling so much better.  Had to have a Foley Catheter for 5 days which wasn't fun but finally made it through that and feel much better!  Hopefully this will help me a lot.

One of the joys of going to Harare these days is that with all this rain is that the roads are bad and the tarred roads have huge potholes.  You feel like you are in a video game with people driving in your lane at you to avoid their potholes and you swerving to miss your potholes.  Quite a competition!

We continue to have record rains--we are competing with California and actually there were landslides and floods in the southern part of the country.  Everyday I go measure from my rain gauge to see how much we get.

 Major leading the goodbye to Ohio state students

 Muneeb speaking for the students at the good-bye


Harare potholes

 Second group of OSU students helping with C/Section

 Jesecca holding the new C/Section baby

 Stu, Cindy and Jesica from OSU

Still having lots of rain