Landing on the beach at Maiama was difficult. The waves crashed wildly against the shore, and the zodiac bobbed around like a fishing bobber with a fish on the line. Our crew members worked hard to navigate the rough shoreline. We jumped out waist deep and made a chain to shore, passing our boxes of immunisations and supplies from person to person. The people from the village showed up to help us carry everything the rest of the way to the village.
The clinic got off to a good start. I was told that this village was a lot more laid back than the villages that the health team had been to last week. That worked out well for those of us who were learning how things work. We had a triage station, an optometry station, a doctor station, and an immunization station. I got to help one of our nurses from New Zealand immunize the pikinines under five years old. We immunized 16 little ones for polio, PCV, measles/rubella and Quinvaxem, as well as provide their vitamin A dose.
One little girl had a impetigo infection that had formed an abscess on her head. Our doctor had to drain the abscess to remove the bacteria and make the antibiotics affective. The New Zealand nurse and I helped to hold her down while our doctor cut the into the abscess. It was not the most fun part of the day. Luckily her dad was holding her which made things a little bit easier. One thing I love about these communities is the care and affection that fathers seem to have for their children. I have seen many fathers actively engaged in the daily life of the kids, whether thats cuddling them or actively watching them. This father was making sure his daughter was getting what she needed. We finished the draining as well as we could, then the other nurse bandaged her head.
The second half of the day I helped our team leader do birth control implants into the mamas’ arms. Many of these women have six to seven children by the age of thirty because they lack birth control methods. Providing an implant that will protect them from contraception for five years is a huge relief for them.
There was also teaching done to the village elders about short exercises that can be done to help protect their back. We handed Abendazole, a drug to help treat parasites, out like candy. Many of the kiddos were running around with swollen bellies and skinny limbs, indicating malnutrition that could be a result of a parasite.
All in all it was a great day. Please pray for the workers on our ship. A lot of people are feeling a little under the weather with stuffiness and small coughs. I truly feel your prayers and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support you have shown. God bless.