Friday, June 30, 2017

Visitors leave, visitors come, Container arrives, Men's retreat

Dr. Palleschi and team finished up their last week with lots of work to see patients and help with our circumcision program and more surgery.  They also helped with Well Baby clinics and we had a great time with them.

We left for Harare early on Friday morning the 23rd and that afternoon met with US embassy staff which included the embassy doctor, head of CDC and USAID and the American Ambassador, Harry Thomas.  It was an interesting meeting and we were able to talk about our work and how it does intertwine with work of CDC and USAID.  

That day was also one of the groups birthday--Carlo Palleschi, and so we spent lunch and dinner celebrating his birthday in Zimbabwe.  We were happy that Dr. and Mrs. Kajese joined us for dinner.  Dr. Kajese was our doctor here when Dr. Palleschi first came to help us 5 years ago.

Saturday the 24th we said good bye to the Palleschi team as they flew off home to busy schedules in Santa Rosa.  I took off for Chidamoyo to welcome our next group which arrived Sunday evening.

Dr. Katzenstein from Stanford and his group of 5 arrived to talk about our research project they are doing with us.  They brought Rebecca from Stanford who is in charge of their overseas research programs.  We were able to decide more on how we are continuing our study of adolescents.  We are in the process over the next 3 months of drawing viral loads on 650 adolescents we have in our ART program.  They spent until Tuesday morning with us and we enjoyed having them out.

They also left Alfred, a Lab Scientist working on his Master's thesis and is helping to put our adolescent records on tablets and next week more students are coming to put our records on tablets and the Cloud for us.  Eventually we will be able to go out to our outreach clinics with tablets and not the heavy record books for each patients we have to bring now!

Tuesday night our container arrived here and by Wednesday afternoon we opened and started to unload some of the wonderful things in it.  I spent time this week in between patients going through boxes and sorting where things go.  We were so happy to get needed dressing supplies, IV cannulas, tape, foleys, lab tubes, syringes and so many needed things to help us at the hospital.  Major was happy to get a shredder he needed for his office at the hospital.  

We are so thankful to Sue and Gene Beckstead in Sebastopol, CA who pack all of our containers and use their garage constantly to collect those supplies, as well as run around each week to pick up supplies from hospitals and doctor's offices.   We are also thankful for all the people who save and transport things for us.  Dr. Palleschi has many people who save things and many hospitals in Sonoma County have saved so much for us.  Thank you to all of you who help as it makes such a difference in treating our patients.  Without you we couldn't afford to buy those supplies here. Thank you all so much!

Thursday night we started a men's conference for our Province here at the church.  Close to 100 men have registered so far.  They said it is going well with good lessons and preaching and singing and dancing.  They came to the hospital yesterday to sing and pray for the patients.

Gloria helping to recover a post-op patient in our "ICU"

Gloria helping with circumcisions

Dr. Smith and Dr. Munodawafa helping Dr. Huang taking a biopsy

 Dr. Huang doing an in-service for the dstaff

Dr. Palleschi with Dr. Huang and Carlo at work

Dr. Huang at the Primary School with lots of friends

Celebrating Carlo's birthday

Jeff, Dr. Palleschi and Dr. Huang with Ambassador Thomas

Our group with Embassy group and Ambassador Thomas

Dr. Palleschi, Jeff and Dr. Smith in Harare

Palleschi group leaving in Harare

Major opening container

Dr. Munodawafa watching the unloading of supplies

Major happy with his shredder

Men from Men's Conference singing and dancing at the hospital

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More visitors and more surgeries

On Sunday the 4th of June we were joined by Dr. Darik and Mrs. Jo Taniguchi from Seattle, WA,  Darik is a GI doctor and Jo is a Family Nurse Practitioner that works in a GI office.  This was their 3rd trip here.  We are always happy to welcome them here (even if they are Seattle Seahawk fans!) and we always have lots of good fun and laughter when they are here.  They helped me with some paperwork and typing and saw patients too!  They also went out to help on a Well Baby Clinic.

On Friday the 9th of June our surgery team led by surgeon Mr. Kundaona from Harare  and Dr. Shield Kajese and wife No came out to do surgeries for us.  After dinner at 8 pm they went to work and did 2 rooms at once and were done by 2 a.m. and then slept before having breakfast.  Then they came up to the hospital to go through some of the supplies we get in our container that are too advance for us to use here.  We called it the "doctor's garage sale."  They found a lot of things they can use in their operations in Harare and in ICUs to help patients who can't afford it.

On Monday the 12th of June a medical team from Santa Rosa, CA (my hometown) joined us for a 2 week visit.  Dr. James Palleschi, a urologist who has been here 4 times before brought with him: Maria Beyer, a nursing student, Dr. David Smith a Pediatrician, Dr. Stephanie Huang, an ENT surgeon, Jeff Scharfen, a high school teacher, Oliver Trent who is hoping to get into Physician Assistance school, Carlo, Dr. Palleschi's son who is an X-ray tech and Gloria Mukuze, a Zimbabwean who is an ICU nurse in Santa Rosa and was born at Chidamoyo.  She is Sylvia's (my Zimbabwean sister) niece.

We have been busy this week with them seeing patients, doing some surgeries and really helping many people that don't have a chance to be helped because they don't have the money to be referred further.  They are also busy teaching us some techniques for assessing patients better.

On Thursday 4 of them went out on a Well Baby Clinic and helped with giving shots, Vitamin A and Polio drops.  They all enjoyed that.

Dr. Darik and Jo Taniguchi left on Tuesday the 13th to go to Victoria Falls and then flew home yesterday to Seattle.  They  had such a quick trip but we enjoyed having them here and hope they will be back soon!

All but Dr. Palleschi left yesterday for 2 nights and 3 days at Rhino Camp in Kariba.  They are enjoying seeing animals and they will have many stories to tell when they get back tomorrow night.

Surgeons going through container supplies

Dr. and Mrs. Taniguchi with Dr. and Mrs. Kajese

Busy day at the hospital in Outpatient Department

Dr. Huang with Carlo assisting showing Dr. Munodawafa how to scope a throat

Dr. Palleschi seeing Urology patients

 Dr. David Smith receiving a C/S baby

Dr. Kajese looking through our doctor garage sale

Oliver giving injections at Well Baby Clinic

Jeff giving Vitamin A drops

Dr. Huang giving Polio drops

Gloria at work in our "ICU"

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Busy two weeks and more visitors!

Our workshop near Harare that Major and I went to went well on 22-23 May.  We met with 10 other mission hospitals that are involved in AIDS work and shared our ideas and challenges in AIDS work at our hospitals.  We received an award for Success Stories in Operational Research for our 3 Research projects we are involved in to better lives of people on ART treatment.

Major returned home on the 26th with a new to him family car.  He bought Dr. Megan's car when they left for the US--so we celebrated when he brought it home.

Work has been very busy at the hospital and with only 1 doctor for the month of May it has been especially busy.  I have been seeing Out-patients everyday while Dr. Munodawafa was busy with in-patients and surgeries.

On May 25th we had a holiday--Africa Day--and so got to work just in the morning and then enjoy some relaxing time in the afternoon.  Have been enjoying "The Crown" from Netflix.

Since it was a holiday weekend our Nurse anesthetist went away and I was on call for anesthesia.  Got called just before midnight on Saturday night and when I got home and 2 p.m. watched more of "The Crown" to go back to sleep.  No visitors, so I got to sleep in until 7 a.m.!

Then during church I got called again for another C/Section and then went home to cook dinner as Patience Mereki's birthday was that evening and they were coming for dinner.  Got everything ready to heat up after night church and just as I sat down for night church at the hospital I got called again.  The woman we had done the C/Section on a few hours before had started bleeding and we had to open her again and try and stop the bleeding.  I helped be a scrub nurse this time and we worked for 2 hours to try and control the bleeding,  Finally tied the uterus off and sent her to Chinhoyi for a hysterectomy.  Unfortunately she was gasping on arrival and died shortly after arrival.  So sad!

Finally we got to eat the birthday dinner about 8 p.m. and enjoyed celebrating Patience's birthday.  Their son, Michael also has his birthday on the same day and so we called him to wish him Happy Birthday at school in South Africa and described the food we were eating as he had cooked his Top Ramen for dinner!  We will celebrate his birthday with him again when he comes home for his term holiday in a couple of weeks!  He said he was saving his appetite. 

Patience was very happy as her family bought her a microwave for her birthday present and she was so excited!

The hospital continued to be busy this week and on June 1st Dr. Isala came back to work and Dr, Munodawafa went off for a few days in Harare so I continued to help in Outpatients.

Tuesday I had a meeting with 19 of our Village Health Workers in the area to strengthen our follow-up of defaulters on ART medication.  We use them as our arms and legs to follow up on people in their area and get the people back in treatment. 

On the evening of the 1st we welcomed visitors who drove from Tanzania to be with us.  Fielden and Janet Allison came to present a Marriage Seminar for leaders and ministers in our churches.  They have been involved in this ministry all over Africa and they have been here twice before to work with our Ministers and Wives.  The started their seminar on Friday morning and it runs through Sunday afternoon.  About 25 couples have been attending the seminar and are all very happy with the meeting.

The hospital quieted down a bit this weekend and we look forward to return visitors from Seattle arriving tomorrow afternoon (Sunday).

Winter is here and we are having nights and morning down to the mid-50's but it always warms up to 80's during the day.  Beautiful blue, blue skies with hardly a cloud in the sky.  The days are getting shorter and it is hard to get up in the morning when it is cold and dark until about 6:30 a.m.  One of the plants that blooms in the cold weather is our Poinsettia trees and they are in full bloom right now!

ZACH Meeting

Major and I and the award we received

 Mereki family new car

Patience's Birthday Party

 The cakes on fire with all the candles!

Opening presents


Village Health Workers Meeting


Janet and Fielden teaching with Major translating

 Lunchtime at the Seminar

Seminar on Saturday with Gill translating


Poinsetta tree in bloom