Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Brief Update

Hi everyone,

The post below ("what happened to October etc...") is finally finished (more medical details than the non-medical folks would ever want to know... although I happen to think it's interesting...)

N.S. with a rare smile enjoying her new presents...

– as promised here are pictures of a few of our kids coloring with the presents donated by the MGH Chelsea Urgent care staff. N.S. is an 11 yo with osteomyelitis of the R leg after falling on some rocks… I honestly had never seen her smile in 2 weeks until getting these crayons and coloring books.

I.K. has frequent smiles, but now has something to keep him busy when we're not around...

I.K. is the other boy – he has been hospitalized for nearly 2 months now – his house was struck by lightning 5 months ago in the Congo and he suffered severe burns to both knees. We had been treating him on an outpatient basis with daily dressing changes but even though he was getting better – his mother took him to a local “traditional doctor” and he came back with wide open sores on both knees and worsening contractures. He hasn’t been able to walk since the fire but we decided to keep him as an inpatient and slowly with twice a day dressing changes and physiotherapy – his is improving. I’m hoping he’ll be able to walk with some crutches before I leave in December

It's been busy but good - I will update more in Kigali - we have a Maternity ward and a midwife and are doing regular deliveries, a laboratory (although around 90% of the cases we suspect are malaria are confirmed now by laboratory - we're still saving 10% on medications that would have been given)...we've started weekly HIV testing (5 out of 43 tested are positive thus far)... and there have been meetings all week with UNHCR, UNICEF, Save the Children, EGPAF, JRS, Refugees International - trying mainly to figure out how to send these children to school but also trying to get help with funding some malaria prevention projects and getting a refrigerator and autoclave for our lab...

I miss you all!