Monday, May 16, 2005


Small respite, big payoff! Found I had a renewed energy for continuing with our plans. I was also able to see of the accomplishments we've achieved. For instance, we fired a worker in the kitchen. She refused to do what was best for the welfare of the children. This was an act of tough love. The girl had been raised here on the plantation, but she was sort of like ....well, Typhoid Mary and it was too great a health risk to keep her on. Actually, I believe she has reached a point in her life where she needs to move on to the next step. She has a high school diploma so she's got a shot.

Other accomplishments: teaching them to cover the food to keep flies away. We had a trash pit built that they burn every night to keep the dogs from getting in the diapers (still chuckling about a comment....but, what will the dogs eat now?) Cleaned up the clinic ...except for the hidden room that was kept a secret until a few days ago (more on that later). We have hired a nurse in place of the girl in the kitchen. Arranged a new work schedule that has an adult supervising the children on each shift instead of older children. We painted most of the hospital in pastel colors...pastel not usually my scene but it's better than dreary, rotten brown. We are getting a handle on the lice and scabies. Still no shoes, floor still wet, the new beds aren't finished yet (can't get em dry) and not brushing their teeth so many of the front teeth are rotting out. Lastly, strep throat and pneumonia keep kicking our butt.

The answer to last problem is multi factorial but I'm finally making head way. I'll explain. One of my favorite past times here is playing a game called "Where's the Medicine Now". It's been like asking your child what happened to the homework! Great for after dinner entertainment, not so great for running a hospital. We have noticed that we are seeing all these children and giving them medication orders but mysteriously the children haven't been responding to our oral regimes only the Intramuscular treatments that we give directly. Well... doesn't take a brain child to figure out something didn't add up. In fact, what we found was, the medication was going nearly everywhere and anywhere except into the proper children's mouths. Each shift check we were replacing medicine, so of course we thought they were giving it. But alas, when we began to question the workers about the abnormally high consumption, we heard the following..... "the children spilled it", "we let all the children have a little taste cause they like it so much", the dogs took it", "It just disappeared in the night". We also found "medication potpourri". A mixture of medications with no names and not ordered by us, being given willy-nilly for every complaint. So I made medication administration records that did not require the ability to read and write. We are making each shift responsible for the medication via salary or product deduction for missing supplies and we're trying to educate them on the uses of various classes of medication.

I'm really not patting us on the back but acknowledging improvements, the real importance of team work, communication and persistence against all odds......because that's what I need to remember.

PS: Isadora, our child that was wheel chair bound, can cruise furniture by shuffling....I've got high hopes.


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