Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Madonsa, Swaziland...the first day...

We departed for our first clinic at Madonsa, a drive about 30 minutes from the hotel. Madonsa is a community that is on the northeast edge of Manzini. It is a very rural place but because of its proximity to Manzini, it is becoming more urbanized. The community itself still has a very rural Swazi feel with most of the homes made out of traditional stick and mud structures. We arrive at the Care Point to find the tents in place and the medicines already delivered and ready for use. At 8:05am we begin to see patients and by 5 p.m. we have seen 438 patients. One woman who delivered a baby on 3 days ago is sent to the hospital with her placenta still in place.

Mission of Mercy and Children's Cup children are seen and treated. Eight medical examiners work side-by-side with the healthcare workers who were trained in August, fine tuning their physical exam skills. The day is long, and the weather is brewing rain.

A quick one hour for lunch and a devotional refreshes the team and by mid afternoon we encounter our first medical emergency.

Pepe, is a nine-year-old little girl who is HIV-positive, diagnosed 3 years ago and is on ARV’s. Her mother died of AIDS and her father is close to death right now. Over the course of several weeks she has been feeling ill and today she presents to the clinic with a temperature of 104, rapid respirations, and evidence of total body infection and pneumonia. Herpetic lesions in her mouth make it difficult for her to eat or drink. She is weak and dehydrated. We start an IV, give her fluids and antibiotics. After bringing her temperature down over three hours she is looking much better. We will see her again tomorrow and give her the rest of her IV antibiotics.

There was alot of praying going on in the spiritual counseling center, with local pastors praying with every one of the patients we saw. There was also a VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing) team that came who offered HIV testing and counseling to anyone who wanted it. 58 people got tested.

There is never a better time than now to remember whose we are...looking at the children we cared for, and hearing their stories, seeing in some the loss of hope, gives me pause to thank Him for directing us here...we gave medicines, we saved a life or two, but most importantly, we showed that by living with Him, anything is possible...hope abounds...love never ceases...grace given freely...

In all things, give thanks...