Kenya 2017 Week One

Habari from the LSU/SHIP team in Kabula, Kenya!

I have been really remiss about posting to the blog this, our first, week in Kenya. I promise to do better in the future, and I will try to sum up the week here.

After 3 months of no rain in the area, rain came with the team to western Kenya. The weather has affected our activities a bit–the roads are muddy, of course, and thunderstorms occasionally interrupt clinic, but also the fields are now tillable, and many people are out working, rather than coming to our mobile clinics.

Monday’s clinic was at the community center in Bukembe, north and west of Bungoma. On the first clinic day, a new team must get into the routine of setting up, establishing patient flow, using a translator, etc., and we may not be very efficient until the end of the day. At Bukembe, we had to hit the ground running, because we were met by a large crowd. Memorable patient of the day–a 50 year old man with rapid weight loss, bloody stools, abdominal pain, and a large, irregular mass in his right upper quadrant. He almost certainly has an advanced malignancy. We had little to offer him other than information. I am told that there is a hospice program available, and hopefully he can find some help there.

We saw about 160 patients at Bukembe. Numbers are approximate, in spite of our best efforts at record keeping.

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Tuesday, clinic day 2, was at the church at Siloba. I remember being there last year on a hot, dry day, with many patients, and numerous kids with malaria. This year was much cooler (the Kenyans think it is very cold!), with occasional little showers, and only 70 (or so) patients total.

The church at Siloba

The church at Siloba

Mama Joyce, our clinic director

Mama Joyce, our clinic director

We travelled to Samoya for clinic on Wednesday. This is Mama Joyce’s home church, where they have continued work on this large building. A portico has been added, and all of the windows are now in place. Last year, I donated a few dollars toward the purchase of a window for the church. Joyce proudly pointed out “my window” when we arrived.
We saw 67 patients through the day.

The church at Samoya

The church at Samoya

Dr. Truc Doan and patients

Dr. Truc Doan and patients

We set up clinic on Thursday on the front lawn of Mrs. Mable Wallwaula at Sang’alo. Our favorite clinic site, I think, with beautiful shade trees, flowers and birds everywhere, and even an avocado tree. Mrs. Mable even fed us a delicious lunch. Cows and turkeys again attended clinic, but I didn’t see the tom that I remember from last year. He may have already become turkey stew or something similar.

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Half of our team left for safari on Friday morning, so we worked with a short team at Muanda. We have become more efficient as the week has passed, and we saw a total of 83 patients. The church at Muanda is across the road from a large school, and during breaks and after school we were inundated with children in blue and white uniforms.

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Please continue to pray for our team in Kenya. I will post more as time and inspiration permit. Love you all!

Hello from Kenya! 

After a weekend of flying (and hanging around airports), the 2017 LSU/SHIP team is in Kabula, Kenya!

The trip home from the Kisumu airport included a pretty good thunderstorm, and several pieces of luggage were strapped to the top of the Range Rover. I knew there was a reason that I vacuum sealed almost everything! 

After hot showers, clean clothes, and a hot meal, we are ready to begin our adventure. 

Please pray for us as we venture out to provide medical care and God’s love to the people of rural Kenya! 

Time to leave for Kenya–prayers appreciated!

Tomorrow, January 27, the LSU/SHIP team will be leaving Louisiana for Kenya 2017!

On our team this year will be myself, Drs. Don and Amy Givler, and Dr. Ragsdale; Pediatrics residents Vilasini Rekhala, Truc Doan, Nicole Jones, and Teresa Do, as well as Rural Family Medicine resident Zohreen Bheriani; and medical students Lisa McDivitt, Melissa Davis, Morgan Bankston, Blair Stevens, Hanna Sams, Tischelle Gatlin, Rachel Strength, and Maria Luraquiz. Dotsy Baxter (Dr. Don’s sister) and Karen Do, RN (Teresa’s sister) finish out this fine team. Some will be in country for the first half of the month of February, others the second half; 8 of us (the Iron Doctors!) will be there the whole month.

As in previous years, we will be staying with Bishop Reuben and Betty Lubanga. Their home, and the ICODEI compound, are located in Kabula, a few kilometers south of Bungoma, Kenya. We will travel daily from there to outlying villages, setting up a mobile clinic to serve the needs of Kenyans in the area. We will be led by Mama Joyce Wasike, with her team of Kenyan clinical officers, nurses, pharmacists, and translators.

I am excited about our team, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and ministering to the medical needs of rural Kenyans around Bungoma. Please pray for our team as we travel, and as we serve and learn in Kenya.

I will be posting daily if possible, but of course this will depend on electrical power and internet access being available.

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QOTD

Classically, there are three ways in which humans try to find transcendence — religious meaning — apart from God as revealed through the cross of Jesus: through the ecstasy of alcohol and drugs, through the ecstasy of recreational sex, through the ecstasy of crowds. Church leaders frequently warn against the drugs and the sex, but at least, in America, almost never against the crowds.

–Eugene Peterson

Inauguration Crowds

QOTD

Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

— Daniel Webster

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