Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 15 Update from Zuva and Bella

Today's entry is being written by Zuva Zimbwa and Bella Kozlak:

Today we split up into two different groups to go out into smaller communities and help out with their pop-up clinics.  Bella and I split into different groups.  I went in the first pop-up clinic and helped out with dental screenings.  When we performed the screenings, we would check the teeth of children and women for cavities, excess plaque, and infections.  If Dr. Grutzner thought that they were in need of serious dental attention he asked them to see the dental offices of St. Dominic's Hospital. I stayed with Dr. Grutzner for the dental screenings the whole time we were there until we saw every child and mother who asked us to check their teeth.  After everyone was done assisting and screening, we were given a tour of the surrounding area and got to see more of how people here live. We spoke to one man and his family in particular who talked to us about how unsanitary and unsafe the water near them was to drink because they didn't have a good indoor plumbing system. 

When we arrived at the second outreach location, we set up inside of a stone hut to assist in dental and medical checks. There was no lighting or air conditioning inside, so the doctors worked with headlamps.  I, Bella, worked with Dr. Sicoli and Stella on doing medical screenings of many children and a few adults.  A common test we ran was the malaria test, which only takes three minutes to give results.  I also helped outside to measure the weight of babies. After the medical screenings, we went outside to play with the kids and blow bubbles.  They loved popping the bubbles and giving high fives afterwards.  

Quick teacher entry (by Erin Miller):
At the second outreach site, all of the babies were weighed using a spring scale, similar to how we weigh produce at the grocery store.  There was a scale suspended from a hook, and a seat below that, and we placed the babies in the seat, took their weight in kg, and recorded it in a trifold book that all mothers keep. Dr. Sicoli estimated that he saw about 20 cases of malaria today.  We ran out of medicine, so many cases had to be referred to return to the clinic tomorrow to be treated.  

Dr. Beinlich also saw dental patients and referred many for fillings or extractions. In a separate room of the hut, another nurse administered vaccinations to babies. This evening Dr. Sicoli is going to talk with the girls to explain more about what they saw today.  He'll explain what malaria does to the body and will answer any other questions the girls have about what they saw. 

I must also add that the girls are really stepping in and taking full advantage of this experience.  They have cut and distributed pills, helped to weigh babies, and have spent a lot of time just engaging children who have to wait to be seen by blowing bubbles, jumping rope, or doing whatever else they think of.  As I write this, two boarding school girls came by and invited Bella and Zuva to join them in the dining room to see what they were doing.  As we walked across campus to come to the computer room to write this blog, several students greeted them by name or wanted to stop and talk. Our girls are also taking turns washing the dishes for our group of 21 after meals, and are responsible for their own laundry. I am really proud of each of them. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us as you share yourselves with the people you encounter. Sending my best to all!
    Mrs. Cleveland

  2. Sounds like a lot of good work is being done. Thank you for sharing your experiences. - Jennifer Arriola