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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Kenya Doctor Strike Quote of the day: Not Normal

This was from a text from a striking Kenyan doctor, a very young one, who believes in the cause but it getting tired of the stalemate:

"Yes it is hard on everyone.  But what's even worse is the fact that it's slowly turning into normal.  That we act like everything is fine, which isn't the case."

AMEN to that.  The chronic crisis becomes the new normal.

The possibility of a solution this week is looking dim.  But I haven't given up on a dramatic 11th hour rescue.   So keep praying.

Once again the sheer volume of work can make one feel like drowning.  Just when I thought I was getting back my intern IV skills, I was 1 for 3 today, and the two babies I kept blowing up veins on had already been poked over by the day nurse who was feeling sorry for me and tried to help.  I had two pretty sick admissions on the Paeds ward so I left for a while, and at the end of the day remembered I had to go back to do those IV's.  So I trudged in and started gathering supplies, then I looked over at one of the incubators just as the evening nurse seemed puzzled on why I had come back.  She had put in both IV's.  I actually hugged her, right there.  That's how tired we feel.  It probably scared her but she smiled.

Not long after we got home, Scott got called back because even though he's not technically on call tonight the person covering was not comfortable doing a C-section in a lady who'd already had three prior ones (too much scar tissue makes it really hard), and there was no possibility of referral.  So he went back and did it as the most experienced on the team now.  He's done about 65 since mid-January.  Which makes sense with a 10-15% rate and 500 deliveries a month and him doing the vast majority of the coverage.  No maternal deaths (except a couple of dead-on-arrival but not much we can do about that) we thank God, and only one surgical site infection which is also pretty remarkable.  My outcomes are not nearly so nice, so it helps to celebrate his.

Pray the country would not become complacent in accepting this broken system as inevitable.  Pray we would continue to build trust and relationship because we are needy and dependent.  It is no fun to need help, but it is a way to connect.  Pray for the confidence to go to Congo, Uganda, and Burundi.  And pray for those Burundi visas.  Thanks.

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