Madagascar (part 6 – clinic day four in Ambohimponana)

Photo Oct 14, 7 06 33 PMSo many people were quietly waiting when we arrived at the fourth clinic site on Thursday, October 15. It felt calmer and less rushed, but we still saw more than 400 patients.

After clinic, we went to see the oldest Lutheran Chuch in Madagascar, established in 1867. They were in a sanctuary build in 1950. The front of the pulpit was a beautiful carved Luther rose. Every church has a Bible verse arching above the chancel.

Pulpit with Luther Rose

Pulpit with Luther Rose

Oldest Lutheran church in Madagascar

Oldest Lutheran church in Madagascar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then traveled to a community that housed and cared for 140 mentally-ill, addicted and demon possessed people called Toby (TWO-by). Yes, demon-possessed, as described Pastor Bob Bennett’s book I Am Not Afraid. Some were in chains, to keep them from hurting themselves and others. We went in part to give them some rice and oil, but also to experience this unique situation supported by a number of churches. It was clean and well-kept, but not a place where you really wanted to spend time if you didn’t have to. The Church there was beautiful.

Church at Toby

Church at Toby

Our guides next took us to a small candy making shop where the owners mixed up some Bon Bon Gasy (“Madagascar candy”) for us. We brought home eight flavors.

Upon returning home, Dr. Harison provided a delicious barbecue for all, to say thanks and good-bye. Tomorrow we leave Antsirabe. Altogether we’ve seen over 2,000 patients over four clinic days!

Jane with her interpreter

Jane with her interpreter

Lydia giving a breathing treatment

Lydia giving a breathing treatment

 

Madagascar (part 5 – clinic day three in Ankazomiriotra)

The preschool children assembled for the morning devotion.

The preschool children assembled for the morning devotion.

Wednesday’s clinic was the busiest of the week. We saw 650 patients, dispensing over 2,000 prescriptions. When we arrived at the church, all of the preschool children were assembled for the opening devotion, in their pink smocks. (Different age groups wear different colors.)

My breakfast of fried eggs didn’t sit real well this morning, so with a “rumbly in my tumbly” I got to make a few trips to the outhouse. Fortunately, I felt better after lunch and had no other problems for the rest of the trip. Molly, however, did get sick and Donna wasn’t feeling well with. Always a possibility on trips like this.

Our team gets along really well and works well together. About half have been on trips before and have some great experiences to share.

In the absence of the team leader, I got to greet the waiting patients before the clinic opened.

In the absence of the team leader, I got to greet the waiting patients before the clinic opened.

Day three clinic

Day three clinic

 

Madagascar (part 4 – second clinic day in Ambano)

Waiting for the clinic to open

Waiting for the clinic to open

Tuesday’s clinic ( October 13) was at a Lutheran church in Ambano, only 30 minutes away, a location where a team hadn’t gone before. About 100 people were waiting for us. After a devotion by Pastor Andy, the local pastor, we opened the doors.

We saw 425 patients on day two. Janelle helped us set up a highly-efficient, high volume, assembly-line pharmacy, and we were able to keep up and fill every prescription, finishing up by 3 pm. On this day I had the chance to interact with some of the patients, especially children. Dr. Harison was amazed at how many patients with goiters came through his makeshift office, a concern he would communicate to the local health ministry. Molly had a chance to teach both tooth brushing and hand washing, giving out lots of tooth brushes, toothpaste and soap.

High volume super-efficient pharmacy

High volume super-efficient pharmacy

Since we got done a little earlier, we went to a Jewel market, a long row of little outdoor shops, all selling semi-precious gems. We really didn’t see anything we wanted to buy at this location.

Our next stop was a place where artisans made everything and anything you can imagine from the horns of zebu. We bought a few souvenirs here.

We then went to a little shop where a woman made her own paper which she then crafted into postcards and notecards. She also made silk thread and wove beautiful scarves. We did buy some items here.

Supper was a very well done pork tenderloin, noodles, rice and French fries, along with some watermelon and mango.

After supper, it was more pill packing then off to bed.

Donna at a triage station

Donna at a triage station

Molly at a triage station

Molly at a triage station

Dr Harison at work

Dr Harison at work

The facilities

The facilities

A demonstration of how to make just about anything from a zebu horn

A demonstration of how to make just about anything from a zebu horn