Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Clinic

On Thursday, We took Ernestina, age3, Kwashie, age 5, and Meshack, age 2, to the clinic to get their rashes looked at. Gus and I went with Dr. Kwame, who takes care of all the medicine at the orphanage. They have had a recurring rash, that become open sores, and it will get better but then it always comes back. The clinic is in Agona-Swedru, which is a 45 minute tro-tro ride from Bawjiase. The clinic is a small room with ceiling fans and consultation rooms along the side wall. The room is packed with people waiting for their name to be called. We got there at 10:30 am and gave the insurance cards to the front desk. For 6 cedis a year, you can get basic insurance coverage through the government and are able to get treatment from the government clinics. We sat and waited for close to 2 hours for them to call out name. Once they called our name, Dr. Kwame had to fill out information for Mishack and Ernestina, because they had not been to this clinic before. Then we sat and waited for our names to be called so they could get their vitals taken. They called each name individually and it took another hour or so for all 3 of the kids to get called. After we got vitals taken, we had to wait again for our name to be called to get a consultation with the Doctor. When you go in the room, there is a nurse recording information and the doctor sitting at a desk. She looked at the rash and asked a few questions and then wrote a prescription in the child's chart. We were only in the consultation room for about 5 minutes. She handed me back the chart, which is a folder with blank pieces of paper inside, to go get the medicine from the pharmacy. The pharmacy is right outside the clinic and everyone who was waiting inside all day was now outside waiting to get their medicine from the pharmacy. Gus and I took the children home, around 3:00 pm, and Dr. Kwame waited for the medicine. He didn't get back to Bawjiase until 7 pm. This experience really makes you appreciate the efficiency of Western medicine. Even though there is a wait in an ER, they are as efficient as possible at getting you treatment. Most people at the clinic were being treated for malaria, and even though many people die from malaria, most people who live here have gotten malaria, so treatment is usually just an injection, and then oral medication for a few days and they are better. Hopefully we all stay healthy while we are here.
Next weekend we are taking all the kids to the beach for the day, so I will make sure to write all about it. I am soo excited!

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