Our third clinic day saw us revisiting familiar territory in the community of Tepecoyo. Previous team visits provided a familiarity with the school we were working in. Veteran team members suggested what rooms were suited best for each department and we were setup and ready to start in record time. The Dental team had their largest setup so far this week in the gymnasium with Dr. Channy Muhn taking over the stage for his procedures. The crowds were well organized into lines when we arrived. Once signed in, patients sit under a tent on the adjoining basketball court to wait to be called for their turn.
Having classrooms to use provides plenty of space for both volunteers and patients to move around with ease and makes things flow more smoothly in general. Our mobile Pharmacy benefitted the most from the extra space today. The room is organized so that each large bin filled with medication or vitamins can be placed around the outside against the walls. When a prescription is received, the volunteer moves around the room to grab the correct medication from each bin. Our volunteer Pharmacist, Chris Ritskes, then explains to the patient how to use their prescription safely. Chris has received much recognition for the program he has created for our mobile clinics. It provides an important service to people who have no access to this help otherwise.
Over in the medical department it was business as usual. Dr. Steve Russell dealt with an emergency shortly after we got started. 85 year-old Rosa was waiting in line with her granddaughter when the abdominal pain she was experiencing got so severe she was not able to stand. With practiced speed, Dr. Steve had started an IV and soon Rosa was feeling much better.
Meanwhile, Dr. Elizabeth Russell was helping Margarita who had attempted to treat her ingrown toenail herself with little success. The resulting Granuloma, a swelling of the tissue surrounding the nail led to further growth of the nail into the skin making it painful to walk and prone to infection. With all the needed tools on hand, Dr. Elizabeth excised a portion of the nail to allow for proper healing. In communities like Tepecoyo and others we visit, something that may seem a simple medical issue to us in Canada, can have a much more serious outcome. Our team is so thankful to be a part, large or small, in making the lives of these precious people easier, less painful and healthier altogether.
This being our third ever visit to Tepecoyo, we have maintained a relationship with the mayor of this community and she came to visit throughout the day as she usually does. As the team was packing up to go, she presented Dr. Tony and Dr. Channy with a plaque of recognition, a symbol of gratefulness for all that Speroway has done for the people of her town. Forming these relationships is important to our work and allows us to see the difference we can make in the lives of the people we serve.
The third day of clinic is often a difficult one as we have now had several full, long and tiring days, both physically and emotionally. In total today between medical and dental we surpassed the 1000 patient mark again. Thursday is a much needed day of rest before we head into our last 2 clinic days. We are also heading into San Jose Villanueva for the dedication of Speroway’s Medical & Dental Clinic. More stories and pictures on that tomorrow.
stories & pictures submitted by Kristen DeMarco, edited by Speroway.