Stories of the Bush

Stories of the Bush

03 Oct

Medical Supplies Delivered to Clinics in South Africa

When Compassion Tea co-founders Chris and Jack Faherty wanted to plan a family vacation, they decided to make it a life-changing one for their two children, Julia and Liam. Instead of heading to a beach or Disney park, instead of hoofing it through an American historical sight or partaking of the grandeur of one of America’s great national parks, they chose a trip to South Africa. And when they left for their trip in late July, they took with them an extra 5 duffel bags. Each bag weighed 50 lbs. and was filled with medical supplies. The Fahertys delivered the duffel bags to Lily of the Valley Medical Centre and 1000 Hills Community Helpers – two clinics supported by CompassioNow. 

During the months leading up to their trip, the Fahertys worked with CompassioNow to coordinate the collection of medicines and medical supplies. The collaborative effort included eyeglasses donated by CareHarbor, Nature Made vitamins donated by Pharmavite, and medical supplies donated by Conejo Free Clinic in Thousand Oaks, CA. In exchange for a monetary donation, Giving Children Hope donated wound care items such as sutures, bandages, surgical gloves, sponges and dressings. A nurse at Los Robles Hospital, also in Thousand Oaks, CA, collected over 125 pairs of warm, rubber-tread socks. CompassioNow also purchased antacids, antidiarrheals, aspirin, ibuprofen, and Neosporin.

25 Jan

Journey to Karero Clinic

The Journey to Karero Medical Dispensary, November 2011

By Ed Bjurstrom

We had previously visited this clinic in 2009 when the entire area was locked in the grip of a 3 year drought. The plains and hills were brown, dry and dusty and we drove to Karero from Nairobi on an unfinished dirt road for many hours. We were in a miserable van with eight other people. We had bad food, bad bathroom experiences and the clinic was not even open yet when we finally arrived.

Fortunately, by contrast, this time in 2011 we were driving from Arusha, Tanzania (much closer) on a road that was brand new, paved and nice. Also, the early, or short rains have been coming for several weeks at least. The weather was cool and the hills and plains were green! The Massai people are herders of cattle, sheep and goats. They are nomadic by nature and follow where the pastures lead them. They were a happy people on this visit.

25 May

Visiting CompassioNow Clinics

On our trip to Africa in November 2011, we visited the Tanzania Christian Clinic in Monduli.  Dr Danny Smelser and his wife Nancy were on leave in the US, so we were hosted by Dr. Bob and Annette Whittaker, who have spent many years working in Africa, specifically Nigeria. 

The clinic was not very busy that day, but the two cases we saw up close and personal were heartbreaking, both involving precious 3 year old boys that were severely malnourished.  The first little Massai boy we saw was brought to the clinic by his alcoholic father, who broke down in tears in front of us as he was talking to the staff, because his wife had left him.  He had 6 children, and had gotten 5 of them back.  This little boy was the youngest, and he obviously could not fight for what little food they had.  The father had lost everything due to alcoholism, and did not have money for food.  This little boy weighed 10 kilos (22 pounds) and was in the “gray” zone for malnutrition for his age.  He was so quiet and apathetic.  It was very hard to watch.  He had what looked like a burn on his foot, and was swollen with edema (a sign of kwashiorkor).  Clinical officer David and Nurse Salina did what they could, and Lab Tech Esther gave him some blood tests.  While he waited for the results, I gave the little boy a blow up beach ball and small packet of fruit snacks I had in my purse, which he happily ate (this was a good sign, but I hope it didn’t make him sick). 

While David and Dr. Bob and Salina were attending to this little boy, I noticed an elderly woman laying outside of the clinic on the grass with a small child who was very dirty.  Next to them was a filthy yellow jug which looked like it could have once been used for cooking oil, but they were using it to drink water (I wonder just how clean that water could have been).  We went outside to see this little child.  This child looked way sicker than the first little boy, and much more malnourished.  His little legs were pencil thin, with what appeared to be an oversized head for his little body.

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