Mobile clinic finds a difficult day
By Esther Molnar
Today was probably one of the most difficult days in terms of the poverty and lack of medical care that we saw. We set up clinic in a remote village at the base of the mountains. This by far was one of the most beautiful locations we have been to this week. However, despite the beauty of the scenery this was also one of the most impoverished areas we have been to.
It was my first day working with adults and I was surprised with the number of older adults whose main complaint was hunger and not having enough food to eat. One woman kept on complaining of stomach pains and diarrhea on days that she didn’t eat. Another woman came up to Dr. Summer after clinic and asked for food.
We came to the village to practice medicine, but the one thing that the villagers needed the most was food. I was shocked that these old woman who asked for food didn’t have family members that would take care of them, that their children couldn’t afford to feed them and the kids. I asked the translator how the elderly were treated and she said they were treated with respect, however it seems that in this setting the elderly wasting away was just a way of life.
The people also did not seek care until they really needed it. We had an emergency case of a young 20-year-old woman who had given birth three months ago, but currently was suffering from congestive heart failure. We had her lie down in the neighboring shack on a comfortable bed and wait for us to finish clinic so we could transport her to the hospital. Here was a woman two years younger than myself who would have probably never made it to the hospital if we didn’t have cars to transport her.