Friday, April 18, 2014

Week 14: Check-Ups, Slum Camp, and the Elderly Home

    Monday began as a surprise, with Dr. Prabhat telling Karen, Caleb, and I that we were going to go do check-ups at the local slum school for all of the children.  I was totally okay with this.  Karen is a doctor, so this was her first chance to actually do some work while in India. Tagore Public School set us up in a downstairs classroom, where we saw students 3 at a time. Caleb and I each did preliminary check-ups, then sent them to Karen if anything was wrong or needed a second look.  Most of the kids were basically healthy (or at least their normal level of health) but there were quite a few colds and coughs.  Many of the children were also malnourished and stunted in growth, and one girl had a heart murmur that she needs to get looked at.
     Tuesday and Wednesday were the days of this week's mini slum camp that was set up because Karen was here.  We went back to the same area as the last camp, in the shrine building. The day was slower than the first day of the previous camp, but it was very good. We were able to do thorough checkups then have time to then go see how Karen and Dr. Prabhat talked to them and made their diagnosis. Karen would give me tips of other questions I should ask the patient, and signs and symptoms of various problems they were having.

     Thursday, we didnt do anything because Dr. Prabhat got called into work for an emergency then stuck in a meeting.  But Friday, we went to an elderly home and did check-ups for all of the residents there.  Elderly homes are not very common in India since children live with their parents and take care of the parents when they are older. The one we went to was funded by donations, so the residents do not have to pay to stay there. There is a person who runs the home, a cook, and maids to do laundry and clean.  A doctor comes by every week to check on those who need it or take care of new problems.  Residents share rooms, and I believe there are 40 people total.  The facility was not what we would call nice by Western standards, but neither was it in a condition to be worried about.  We had a table set up in the common room downstairs, with the typical stations of blood pressure, blood sugar, pulse, preliminary examination, then Dr. Prabhat.  Most of the residents already saw a regular doctor, but some had new problems or needed more pain medication for various aches and pains.  We were able to see every single resident, which was great :)

     If all goes as planned, next week I will be starting my health classes at the schools. 
    Also... 3 week countdown until Thailand! 5 weeks until Dubai! 6 weeks until I am home. 

Much love,

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