Monday, May 10, 2010

HIV, CT, and Goats: Fifth letter home from Kenya

Hi Everyone!
This one's going to be quick (I know you're sighing with relief after the last super long email i sent).
The free medical camp we organized this weekend was a great success! We saw over 300 people and did TB, HIV, Blood sugar, and blood pressure testing, as well as blood grouping (testing to see their blood type). I learned so much and met so many great people! I spent most of my time doing HIV testing. People here really have so many misconceptions about hIV and how it is spread. They are so afraid to be tested because they they basically view a positive test result as a death sentence, both physically and socially. My heart dropped into my stomach the first time I tested someone positive. I knew that he would have to go home and tell his wife and family, and that his friends and neigbors would probably start to shun him. The next morning his wife came in to be tested as well. She turned out positive too. I just hope they are willing to seek help and not give up hope!
I was also able to take the sister of the woman i live with to get a CT scan to try and figure out what has been giving her constant headaches for over two months. It only cost $70 USD, but for this woman, that was almost two months pay. I was able to cover it for her and gratefully the scan showed nothing abnormal. We tested her at the clinic the next day for typhoid and it looks like that's her problem. Thankfully the treatment for that is a little bit less costly.
This morning, I witnessed another birth...but not a human this time :) Our goat had a baby! Wow! the poor thing sounded like it was in so much pain, and she was pushing to get the baby out for over 30 minutes! Yet again, I am amazed by the miracle of life!
I'm heading off to Uganda and Rwanda for a few days with some friends, so I'll write again when I get back. I hope you all have a great week!