Loaves and Fishes
Hungry For Life Medical Team Blog
As the team pharmacist, my days are usually spent behind a small window through which we pass the completed prescriptions. The medical team pop in and out asking for treatment advice and I love the challenge of using what resources we have to fulfill the requests. My team consists Ezgar, a Haitian nurse, Scherlie, a Haitian pharmacy student in her final year, and our talented team member Denise who keeps me organized. We are fine tuning our system as we all worked together last year. We do take turns to get outside to ogle over some of the cutest babies or observe some patient/ doctor interaction.
Today was a special day as I joined the group that went with Ezgar, to make home visits. My dispensary was in a pack on Denise’s back. I have done a number of mobile pharmacies in my volunteer “career” but I have never had the pharmacy walk away from me. Ezgar regularly visits those that cannot make it into the clinic and when needed, brings food that has been provided by donations from loving, caring people. You know who you are! We were at the home of a woman the team visited last year. She has not been able to leave her bed for well over a year. She depends on neighbours to bring her what she needs. At the time of our visit, she was shelling a large amount of Congo peas and I wondered if she did this for her neighbours in return for their help. Dr. Don and Judith checked her over and updated needed medication. Her one request was the provision of a wheelchair. We might be able to make that happen. We carried on seeing others as the crowd grew when they realized what we were doing. I felt we could have spent the entire day and the next seeing people in need but we must trust God to put certain people in our paths. We saw a man that had just developed shingles the day before, perfect timing for treatment. There was a baby who was covered head to toe in eczema and a young lady who has been shot in the leg 4 months ago. The bullet was still in her leg and she had developed an infection around the site.
When we arrived back at the clinic, the very capable Scherlie informed me that many medications were out or running low. It always seems that in spite of this we are able to fill most prescriptions using a little ingenuity and creativity. We rip open an IV bag of saline to make nasal drops for babies, start giving five 100mg tablets of acetaminophen for a single 500mg dose, adults get children’s liquid antibiotics and antibiotic eye drops are used as ear drops. This always seems to happen near the end of a clinic and brings to mind when Jesus fed the 5000 with a few fish and 5 loaves of bread.
Every day spent with this team is a joy and the time is filled with laughter. I could not ask for a better group of people to work with. Each day I am learning something new and know God has not finished with me yet.
Good night from Haiti