More and more often we now receive requests for help with medical problems, from the very poor of our area. This is challenging for us, because, except for the knowledge acquired from having kept our own six children reasonably healthy, we have no training for this.
We can help, fairly often, with just this parental level of knowledge. Passing out bandaids, antibiotic ointment, children's tylenol, vitamins, etc isn't beyond us. Recently, however, we have had some more challenging problems brought to us. We appreciate your prayers, as we try to help those who come to us for medical assistance, in spite of our limitations!
A few weeks ago, a young nursing mother, her husband, and their month old baby knocked on our door (an unidentified young girl was with them - sister of the mother, I think). The mother had developed an infection in one of her breasts. She had opened the pockets of infection herself, and the infection had worsened, so that she could no longer nurse the baby on that side, because of the pain and the open wounds. She visited the government health center, and from them she received Tylenol. She visited another health facility, and was told they didn't have any medical workers there to help her. I don't know who sent her our way, but there she was, in dreadful condition, still needing help for her raging infection.
We contacted health workers in the US and Canada, using the internet, and were able to start her on antibiotics (which are available over the counter here), and advise her on how to care for her wounds, keep the baby healthy, and hopefully retain the ability to breast feed her child through the treatment and after.
Very frequently, when people come to us for help, we ask them to return at a later date, to check on their progress, or for other reasons. In many cases these people do not return, but happily this little family has returned three times now, and we have been able to oversee this woman's recuperation. She is due to check in again later this week, and we hope to see her well enough to restart nursing on that breast. So many many situations arise here, which we cannot help. It is exhilarating to see that we have been able to make a difference for this family.
Today, the mother of one of the children in our Special Needs Program approached us about an ongoing medical problem she has been dealing with. Two years ago, after giving birth at the local hospital, she was given three injections of penicillin, 'in case she should get an infection.' About a month later, welts and wounds began to appear at and around the sites of the injections. She complains of much itchiness and pain at these locations. I am posting a very small picture here, in case anyone has a delicate stomach for such sights. You can click on the image, if you'd like to see a larger version. We imagine that perhaps she is allergic to penicillin, but we haven't ever heard of an allergic reaction like this - so localized and yet ongoing (for two years?). Thus begins another romp through medical sites on the internet, and emails to medical professionals. I'll let you know how this progresses.