středa 9. prosince 2015

Have Health Clinic

Have Health Clinic
Volunteering at Have Health Clinic is far more challenging experience. The reason is simple-Have Health Clinic provides care for twice as much patients as Duga Health Clinic (the total number of patient folders kept at the clinic is around 17 thousand). My major task is dispensing prescribed medicines and providing counselling to the patients. My office is a small room called „Dispensary room“ with the installed window through which I communicate with the  patients and supply them with prescribed medicines. The list of medication available at Have HLC is not exhausting, therefore after few days I have become familiar with the standard dosage regimens of every drug. I have learnt about the clinical management of malaria, helminthiasis, gastroenteritis, respiratory and urinary tract infections and dehydration (these are the most common diagnosis). Sometimes we are challenged with  more complicated or unusual patient cases, for example a boy, who was biten by his classmate (he was given a dose of tetanus immunoglobulin and antibacterial prophylaxis with co-amoxiclav) or a pregnant woman struggling to breathe as a result of serious allergic reaction (after she was given adrenaline injection, we sent her to the nearest hospital for further management. Taxi was called and when I inquired about the time in which she can get to the hospital, nurses said about 20 minutes. „Will she make it in time?“...“Who knows? This is Africa for you.“). Medical staff in Have HLC is very friendly, namely nurses Fellicity, Vava, Doreen, Sebastian, midwife Sarah and medical practitioner Fafa.
Life in Have is busier than in Agbesia with the market day every forth day. Shopping at the market is quite challenging, you have to bargain the prices with the sellers. This can be tricky because my skin colour means for local people that I came from a more prosperous country and I am automatically perceived as someone with money (though I am not J). There is also the Internet Cafe, although its opening hours depends on the electricity supply (which means it is closed every other day J). One Sunday I went to the Global Church in Have (first visit of church in Ghana) and it was unique experience. The service takes 3 hours and it involves plenty of dancing, singing and drum playing. The sermon was a little bit shocking, especially the part when the preacher started screaming „wicked christians“ at us. My friend had to translate the meaning of the sermon to me because the preacher used local dialect-ewe language. At the end of the seremony I had to introduce myself in front of the whole church. My ghanaian name is Jaja which means „Thursday born“ (though I am not) or Jarja which means „Blessed“. My other common nickname is „javu“ which means „white person“ and people, especially kids, like to shout at me „javu“ when I walk past them. I am slowly picking up some phrases in ewe language, for example „efoa“ means „how are you“ and the answer is always „eh“ meaning „fine“.
African food has become a part of my everyday diet. My favourite dish is „watche“-a mixture of rice, beans and local spices. „Kenkey“ and „banku“ are fermented maize meals, served with a sauce or stew. „Red-red is a bean stew with meat and fish, served with fried plantains. I have tried a goat meat with its special aroma, although I havenˈt been brave enough to try bush meat (it is actually meat from a kind of rat called grasscutter). Aaron, my fellow volunteer, has tried it and liked it, though he dodged the tail part. The local delicacy is „abobo“ which is fried snail on the stick. It is served with pepper and onion and it is a truly delicious snack. A different story is roasted lizzard, which I was priviliged to try one evening in Accra. The size of it was like  of small alligator and tasted like a rubber.  
Last week of November Have Health Centre was reviewed by Ghana Health Service. Medical staff from regional clinics and hospitals came to assess the services provided by HHC. Some of the topics included the clientˈs care, the enviroment, the infection prevention programme etc. We had been preparing for this review several weeks ahead and also with the help of local pupils HHC scored 70.7%. This score means that HHC is the best in the Volta region and I am very proud to be a part of medical team here. 

                                            Have Health Centre, the best clinic in Volta region

                                     Working enviroment

                                        Jackfruit leaf                                          

                                       This is Africa...

                                       My colleague Sebastian while preparink Banku.


                                       Friends from Have also wanted to take selfie.

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