Saturday, July 31, 2010

Earlier this month our clinical officer, Kitur, I attended a one-day seminar hosted by Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS). This is the company we order our medications and supplies from. It's a Christian organization that does it's best to help get faith-based clinics supplied with quality materials.

It was well-done, and I was impressed with the patient-focus that the company has. Most of the times in the past when I attended a seminar put on by a pharmaceutical company or supplier, it was a big pitch for why you should prescribe their brand name. It was refreshing to hear lectures about how to provide the best quality care for the patient.

I also learned that in sub-Saharan Africa there are only four laboratories monitoring the quality of drugs that are marketed in medical facilities and pharmacies. One of those labs belongs to MEDS where they are vigilant in checking the quality of their drugs. I also learned that up to 25% of medications sold in pharmacies in Kenya are either contaminated or just flat-out placebos. Rather scary! It was a relief to know that the company we order our medications from is working hard to provide quality care instead of just focusing on the bottom line.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Field Trip

Not long ago, the local public primary school decided to have a field trip to our clinic. The purpose of the trip? To see our fish tank!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just Checking In

Well I'm definitely not meeting my goal of blogging twice a week. But honestly there has been nothing too exciting to blog about. This week has been one of catching up.

As usual I have under-estimated how long it would take to do something. I remember setting up study sessions where I planned to whip through two chapters and out line both in a set period of time. I would always be devastated when the time would arrive and I would only have completed half of one chapter.

Well thankfully I no longer get devastated if my "to do" list doesn't get completely checked off by the end of the day. Living in Africa has taught me a bit about flexibility. Someone recently recommended putting the item "interruption" on the list a few times. That way you can gleefully check it off when you get called here and there for one reason or another.

I don't dare say that I am completely caught up. But I've made progress. My calendar is updated. I think I'm just about caught up on old e-mails. I have food in both the pantry and fridge. I know what's been going on at the clinic. My updated prayer letter went out yesterday. Our bookkeeping is relatively up to date. And we are planning a big mobile outreach for the 22nd of next month. Although I hoped to have all of this done on Monday (hahaha what was I thinking?) I think it has been a pretty productive week thus far.

Tonight I have an internet chat-date set up with an old friend to talk about the possibility of a special photography project in our village. Speaking of which, hopefully this next week I can break out the camera and get some pictures of our running water at the clinic!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Close Call

It's been a while since my last post. I had a family emergency that took me on a quick trip to the USA. But I'm back in Kenya now, and back to blogging. And what a return! I'm doing some serious jet-lag. I didn't have too much on my arrival to the USA a few weeks ago, but I think I'm making up for it now on my return to Kenya. My luggage made it half-way around the world from Los Angeles to Nairobi via London with no problem. But somehow it didn't get on the plane with me from Nairobi to Eldoret. So William and I will be tracking it down tomorrow.

William picked me up at the airport this morning and on our way home we had a very close call on the road. I've shared with many of you how terrifying driving on the roads in Kenya can be. We were almost run off the road by a big truck on our way home. William scooted to the side and let him zip around us. As we followed him he made an abrupt turn into oncoming traffic. He was broadsided by a poor Toyota Landcruiser who never saw it coming. There was no time for him to even attempt to avoid the accident. So we didn't hear any skidding, just the huge impact and the cruiser and truck spinning to the side.

Unbelievably enough no one was killed or even badly injured for that matter. And what is really crazy is that there were half a dozen men riding on the open bed in the back of the truck. My mother-in-law and I were pretty sure that someone would have been killed. William had us sit in the car while he ran to check things out. Since there were no serious injuries I never got out of the car. And we weren't far from a police check so they quickly made their way to the scene. Unfortunately this is a very typical daily occurrence on the roads here.

We were blessed to get a dinner invitation tonight. It is always enough transition getting moved back into the village without having to figure out what to make for dinner that first night. So I'm going to enjoy some fellowship and food then hopefully sleep a bit tonight. I should be back with an update on things at the clinic soon.