This update from Charlotte McGrath: The past few days have been busy! On Thursday (6th November 2014), we visited a rehabilitation school near Kagando for children with disabilities. I saw many babies with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and rickets. Some had swallowing difficulties requiring modified diets and thickened fluids. All were malnourished. I gave the mother advice on food fortification using sunflower oil, maize, full fat milk and sugar… These are cheap ingredients for the families here which they can get easily. The village priest invites us over for dinner and we drank wine with him under the stars high up in the mountains of Kagando. On Friday we left Kagando, the poorest village I have ever stayed in.
On Monday we started at Corsu hospital, near Kampala. I am working with the nutrition team and paediatric consultant. I have been working with them to create a homemade enteral feed and am creating feeding protocols for the adults here at risk of refeeding. I am looking after the cleft palate babies pre and post op. The hospital can’t afford formula milk so we are creating our own recipes using local cheap ingredients. It’s hard work as the hospital staff here have little knowledge on calculating requirements and I have to keep my protocols basic and realistic. Today I watched surgery in theatre. It was incredible to see the transformation of this baby with cleft lip and palate immediately after surgery. The mum is expressing milk and now feeding via bottle. She was lost for words at the sight of her baby post-op. A wonderful morning! X
This update from Jamie Currie – from CoRSU hospital: I helped to treat an eleven year old who had limbs hacked off by people (and I use the term loosely) working for witch Dr’s who pay a high price for albino body parts! Yes hard to imagine. He has had a toe transferred to his hand. Another patient has an external fixator following a infection from a tissue eating bug (necrotising fascitis). I did some teaching around protecting the ankle against Achilles tendon shortening.
I also did some splinting and upper limb therapy for a patient with severe forearm burns and another with hand trauma. I had to fabricate a night resting splint for a child with a brachial plexus injury (nerves in shoulder), which is common here in child birth.
Ellen is an OT from Belgium who is volunteering at the hospital. She can be seen in one of the photos fitting ingenious cut up tyres for protecting the bottom of plaster casts. Also, we are doing some rehab with a child following osteomyelitis of his forearm.
12th November 2014 – update from Jamie Currie:
Charley gave a talk to nursing staff about tube feeding and set up weekly clinical supervision for the Nutrition team.
Dom did respiratory physio with a head and neck patient and I carried out hand therapy on a patient with a toe to hand transfer.
We then were introduced to a team called community based rehabilitation (CBR) which is part of a hospital initiative. They are made up of OTs, Physios, social workers and support staff. They assess treat and refer patients in the community with wide range of conditions. We rather unexpectedly found ourselves split with three different team members using public transport to visit a number of homes in the district. The transport consisted of community taxi vans and pillions on boda boda motorbikes going up into the villages. This was an experience in itself. We had a range conditions to treat and advise on, mostly cerebral palsy. So one day left. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
13th November – CoRSU sports day…….
CoRSU disabled children sports day. Before the sports started, we marched and danced in a procession to highlight the children’s strengths and help dispel stigma. Lots of photos!
14th November – back home:
Well that’s that! Landed safely and welcomed back by our beautiful English weather. What a roller coaster ride. We have experienced some life changing moments made friends and hopefully changed some lives for the better. A massive THANKS to all the people who have helped us along the way. Too many to list! All three of us need some time to process what we have experienced. It has been amazing. Jamie