Nhasi China!

Nhasi China (chee-na) means today is Thursday! That is a day that has become a day to dread around the hospital because it is 12 hours of non-stop work! No time for tea or lunch—just work flat out!
We have made every Thursday CD4 count day. Now that we have a CD4 machine and Thursdays we usually have electricity (this week we had turn on he generator), we draw blood from HIV positive patients to see who needs to start ART medication and to monitor those on ART meds to make sure they are improving. The CD4 count shows how well their immune system is working. If the number is below 350 they need to start on ART.
This past Thursday we drew 87 people! There were 2 people writing the forms and filling out the test tubes while I drew all the blood from babies up to 80 year olds! Then we start getting the results back in about 2 hours and out of those 87 we needed to start 38 patients! So immediately I started prioritizing who we could start that day (those that live far away) and who could be rescheduled over the next few days! Of course everyone wants to be started immediately!
We worked straight through until 7 p.m. when it was too dark for me to see to write their cards anymore (we had no electricity all week and still going!) and then sent them away until Friday. I went home and ate and went to bed at 8 p.m. I was so tired!
We continued yesterday and saw more people to start—it is always a groan when you have a man and his 3 wives who all need to be started at the same time! Yesterday we had ART clinic at Deve (about an hour away) so my helper in the office had to go to that while I ran between starting new people and filling meds for our patients already on TB and/or ART meds! It was another non-stop, no tea, no lunch day! I pushed about 3 more patients to start until this morning! Whew!
Lori was gone for a workshop all week and is coming home today so next week might be better—we can only hope!
We are so happy to have the machine and be able to start more people and save lives! It will just take us awhile to catch up since we haven’t been able to do this before and just started people on their clinical appearance. That meant we were treating only the very sick and so many of those died because they started medication so late. Now we can start people when they need it—even if they look well on the outside they may be very sick inside!
We also have a small CD4 machine that has battery backup that was provided for maternity patients. So all positive maternity patients can be seen and tested the same day and started on ART to help prevent their baby from being infected with AIDS. We can draw any day for those patients. We are so thankful to the Kaplan foundation for providing this machine!
Some good news to share is that we are definitely decreasing in the number of new patients with HIV infection. We are running about 18% of our general population are infected and 7% of our maternity population. So new cases are definitely slowing down! We feel the more people we can get on medication the more people will be saved from getting AIDS as the disease is not transmitted as easily from someone on medication. There are many people who have the disease already that need to be on treatment so we will be busy for awhile catching up on all those (over 2 million in Zimbabwe) who need to be on medication! God is good and we can’t complain about work when we are saving so many lives! Pray for our strength to continue on!

Winter seems to officially started! We had 2 nights this week where it got into the 50's, brrr...The extra blanket and comforter have been added to my bed and as soon as the sun goes down it is cold. We acually had sweatshirts and blankets wrapped around us for the movie last night!


  1. Nice blog ! all the images and contents are very good.!! all the information are available !!! GE 12L


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