East Africa Aid Foundation

Our mission is to provide an opportunity, a helping hand, for those who have little-to-none to live by and learn with. We are a not-for-profit organization founded to assist with the collection of charitable donations from interested parties, multinational corporations, and healthcare organizations to fund educational & healthcare projects in multiple locations in the East Africa region.
Dec 25, 2013

Volunteer Diary Week 11

Beginning of this week I was in Dar to pay the rent. Poor Sofie got sick so I and Mathilde continued with the home visits. Tuesday morning I met our new landlord and paid the rent for UKUN for six months as it was agreed. We got one month free due to our renovation work. Unfortunately I only received a receipt as the landlord Omari did not have contract for us. I asked him to provide me one, which I will pick up on my next visit to Dar.

Whilst in Dar Sophie got sick with diarrhoea and Mathilde took Mr Captain to his hospital appointment and showered him alone. He had again had an accident with bowels. Poor Mathilde with her little Kiswahili managed so well at the hospital and had a big job alone to shower him and do his laundry.  Mr Captain had his CD4 checked and will be told results on his next appointment. He was told it is chronic diarrhoea that is very common on patients on ARV medication. We gave him ‘pampers’ but he thought to use it as a toilet so we had to discontinue this! Sophie was better by the end of the week and all the team was back together.

On Wednesday we visited Mariam and bought her more juice, gloves and disinfectant. She also needed more Septrin, which I asked Charles to take there. Mariam appeared fine. After that we visited Amina for physiotherapy who is doing well and Mr Captain who had had no diarrhoea that day! 

On Thursday we went to Muhimbili once again with Hamisi to get his fit status for surgery and Sulemani to get his biopsy results. This time it was me, Mathilde and a local friend Omari to come as a translator. We found a new driver Ally who is also works at the Bagamoyo Hospital. This time the trip was not too long; we left to Dar at 6.30am and came back to Bagamoyo before sunset time. Sulemani was seen first and he only got told that his results were not ready and that he should return next week Friday, not good! Hamisi got really good news; he was told that he was fit for the surgery (double mastectomy). Not only that, he got a date for his surgery and only just over two months wait. He needs to be admitted to Muhimbili on 6th of August 2013 and they will operate on the 9th. Hamisi and we were so happy. On our way back home we bought lunch for everyone; rice, ugali, fish and beans.  We booked Ally for the next week’s trip to Muhimbili with Sulemani and he only wants to charge us the petrol money and nothing extra so we have another volunteer now!

Abdullah finally got his injections for TB from Bagamoyo Hospital. He needs to have still half of the injections from the total of 56. There was a three week gap, which is not good for the adherence and resistance.

We continued writing weekly reports and wrote separate reports of the Muhimbili trips and the office opening party. It is hard to sit in front of the laptop for hours in this heat but we go to do our work in Poa Poa restaurant, which has good fans and serves lovely iced coffee!

Next week is the final week of the musketeers Sophie and Mathilde so we have a lot of organizing to do. 

Dec 25, 2013

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 12)

This week was a sad and busy week for me, the girls and our patients. We visited all clients and girls said goodbyes. We also did another trip to Muhimbili Hospital.

Monday and Thursday was spent with Mr Captain with showers and laundry. He also got a new mattress; bigger one and better quality. On Thursday we went to visit Amina and Hamisi Tanga first and girls said goodbyes. After that it was Mr Captain’s turn. After showering him we took him for a walk in his wheelchair. We went with him to visit Hadija and her family who live nearby and girls said goodbyes there. Mr Captain was happy to see Hadija.  Then we took him for a goodbye lunch in a local restaurant. He was very happy but had no appetite to eat much. Girls found it hard to say goodbyes and promised to come back before the end of the year.

Girls spent a lot of time this week with Abdullah. They have created such a special friendship with him now and I am sure Abdullah will also miss them so much. On Wednesday we went to join Abdullah to a HIV children’s group BaoBao, which is run by great local volunteers George and Bernard and they often get other foreign volunteers to work with them. Most of the children were much younger than Abdullah who is 17 years of age and he was not joining in fully. This could have just been due to nerves as the both leaders said. We played ball games and had snacks with them after. This group meets every Wednesday afternoon for few hours and Saturdays for the full day 9am till 5pm. They have activities like games, exercises, life skills, counselling and days at the beach or swimming pool. On Saturday we went with him and the group to swimming pool in a nice hotel and spent the whole day there. Abdullah does not know how to swim and he had so many teachers there. He really enjoyed this day and all the children got ‘chips mayai’ (chips- omelette) to eat and were so happy!

On Wednesday there was a meeting here at UKUN with local home- care volunteers, which Charles attended.  We had organized them to come here with their supervisor. They are not active anymore and most are lacking motivation and supplies. I wanted to take some of the burden away and work together with them. Charles asked for their ‘bed-ridden’ patients but they said all the patients need to be reassessed for their needs before they can give us information. They promised to come back on Friday for another meeting having to have reassessed the patients, however they cancelled it. I will go next week to the hospital to find the supervisor again, mama Kizunga.

On Friday I and Sophie took Sulemani back to Muhimbili Hospital in Dar Es Salaam to get his biopsy results.  Last week they told us they were not ready and asked to come on this day. We left again early at 6.30am with the same driver Ally as last time. Unfortunately we received the same news again that the results were still not ready! I got little angry with the doctors as we had come from really far twice and spent a lot of time and money for the car. One of the doctors then organized to get the results that had to come from a different hospital in Dar. We waited about an hour and then they told me Sulemani has carcinoma (cancer) in situ in his bottom. I was told not to tell the patient yet but come back next week to admit him to the hospital. He will need a surgery or maybe radiotherapy. This was really sad news but at least it was now found and we could start treating it. Doctors think it can be detected early and he will be fine. I have to call back on Monday to get the date to go there.

On Sunday we had a leaving meal with Charles and Abdullah and the girls in town. We followed this with ice cream bar for deserts! I hope Mathilde and Sophie will be back soon, it will be extremely difficult to find as wonderful hard- working volunteers as they are!

Next week I will have things to sort out in home visits and I won’t have volunteers with me.  There is also another trip to Muhimbili and meetings with Hannah to look at UKUN’s future plans, structure and funding options.

Dec 25, 2013

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 15)

This week was busy with home visits together with our new volunteer Sarelle.

On Tuesday Charles and Sarelle did visits to Semeni, Mariam and Amina to introduce them to Sarelle. Semeni who has been a client for many years was doing really well with her family. We used to visit her for physiotherapy when she got really weak. Now she is still doing fine and is able to walk independently. She also has a good support from her family. There were no changes with Mariam and we provided her mango juice and more gloves. Amina continued her walk with the zimmer frame and it appears that soon she will be strong enough to change the frame to a walking stick.

Mr Captain had two showers Wednesday and Friday. The same problems occurred again; no-one had been there to help him to the toilet so he was covered in faeces again. Friday I took him to his hospital appointment after giving him a full change and shower first. Doctors assessed his strength on his limbs and suggested to build a pole in his garden to do some physiothrerapy. They think he could be able to walk again and build more muscle to his legs if we did regular physiotherapy. We decided to make this plan for next week. We will be also building a new kitchen outside for his family to shift it away from outside of his room. His family was happy with this idea and Chanzi made a design for the new kitchen. With all the volunteers arriving next week also we made the plan to build it Thursday and Friday next week. His CD4 had dropped from 506 (last year May) to 384 so this was alarming and we need to build him up fast.  Doctors also mentioned that he is lacking many vitamins and that is why his hands are week. The family do not cook many vegetables and he does not like the fruit I bring him. I took some multivitamins for him and he was also started on neuropathic medicine for a month to get more strength on his limbs. I hope these medicines together with better nutrition will help to increase his CD4 count. His new appointment was made to the end of the month to reassess. I hope something more can be done for his nutritional support but it is a complicated situation with the big stigma that exists in the family. His uncle sho lives next door is the traditional healer and has a lot of money and wives I have been told. I wish they would help Mr Captain more. It makes me so sad.

I, Sarelle and Chanzi took Abdullah to the beach on Wednesday but he was too afraid to swim. We found a volunteer who is a swimming teacher and she agreed to teach him next week! Abdullah was happy to hear that. Next week will be his last few injections and he will finish all his TB treatment. We need to look into getting him back to education. He is eating really well and acts like the boss at our office now. He has been sleeping in the office for a while now and his family has not been asking after him, which is really sad. He is continuing with his English lessons and likes to greet us now in English and telling us in English all the things he has eaten!

Chanzi visited Sulemani in Ocean Road Hospital in dar Es Salaam and took him water, juice and bread. He was doing fine and was still waiting to start his radiotherapy treatment.

Charles wanted to involve one of Captain’s family members to help to shower him while I will be gone (July & August) but the person had gone away. Once Charles come back from his holidays beginning of August I hope he will find the person to assist Mr Captain. For now it will be our American volunteers together with our local volunteers.

Next week there are two new volunteers joining our team; Cindy for two weeks who is a registered nurse in USA and William for six weeks who is a medical student and from USA too. It will be nice to have a big team. Our local volunteers Davis and Godfrey continued to practice on HIV testing and counselling. They are also willing to help with home visits and will be translating when the American volunteers arrive.

Charles will go to visit his mum and on holiday next week Tuesday for two weeks and it will be my last week with UKUN also. We will have a lot of orientation and organizing to do for the new volunteers!    

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