Rural health post
During recent weeks there have been several times when early diagnosis and treatment at the clinics has enabled young babies to be assisted and in at least one case, averted the worst outcome. These edited extracts from our clinic reports describe what’s been happening.
“In Simango village a 3 month old baby was seen by Dr A on clinic. He had labored breathing and was floppy. Dr B put up a saline drip and gave cef-trimaxole. More fluid was given at Simango Rural Health Centre and the baby seemed to be picking up. Within 2 hours 45 minutes of a doctor first seeing the patient the baby was admitted at Zimba Hospital.”
“At the clinic in Libala on 18th September Dr C noticed that a baby was really wrapped up in the clinic queue and was concerned the she couldn’t breathe properly. Dr C went to the Mum and asked her to pull back the blankets a bit so she could see the baby. After enquiring why they were there the Mum explained the baby was four days old and was struggling to feed. Dr B saw the baby and called Dr A over for a second opinion. They both agreed the baby was likely septic after completing observations, which included temperature, heart rate, glucose and respiratory rate…and set to work setting up an IV line The baby was white, floppy and quite unresponsive…The baby and mother were transferred to Livingstone Hospital. On the way the baby deteriorated and the respiratory rate went from 60 to 40 which was inappropriate for its condition and the baby became less responsive and practically unconscious… On arrival the baby was transferred for ventilation…”
Fortunately, most of our patients can be successfully treated at the mobile clinics themselves. And the work of the Community Health Workers is vital in providing a point of medical advice and assistance on the days our team are in other villages, and are especially trained in identifying early signs of serious illness.
To help continue this valuable outreach work, On Call Africa are pleased to have welcomed a new Operations Manager in Livingstone. She is herself a young Zambian mum with a baby under one year old and understands the challenges of raising children in challenging environments. She also brings a wealth of experience of running health projects with Zambian organisations and will be able to build on the legacy of the amazing volunteers who have worked as Project Coorindators over the past five years.
Finally, we’re delighted to let you know that the four day-old baby girl from Libala stablised and a couple of weeks after that worrying week mum and baby are back home and making progress.
And the three month-old baby boy from Simango is now beginning to thrive.
CHWs and doctors working together