Starfish

Today, we traveled high in the mountains to Piedra de Afilar (Sharp Stone). This community was founded in 1945 with 145 families. All of the houses have latrines outside, but the closest water access is 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) away!!! Seventy percent of the children suffer from malnutrition and they have a 60 percent incidence of pregnancy in teenagers.

Many of the nurses in the medical clinic observed the impact of the lack of accessible water. This was seen in high rates of skin diseases and general uncleanliness.

Dale saw two large families who stood out for her with severe malnutrition. In one family, a seven year old looked like a four year old, and the two year old only weighed 10 pounds. Attempts were made to refer this family for additional assessment and assistance; however the mother declined because of unfavorable home circumstances. The other family had nine kids and the mother had recently been deserted by her spouse, who had started another family elsewhere.

Jessica saw many patients with high blood pressures, who were all referred to Doctora Moncada. Carlos was Jessica’s interpreter, and said he had a wonderful day and saw patients of all ages.

Sharon commented on the number of skin issues, which is directly linked to the lack of water access in the community. She also noticed that many of the children were wearing shoes that were too small for them. They were given flip flops that were sent with the team.

Yolanda also made several referrals for elevated blood pressure. The patients commonly run out of medicines and neglect to get them refilled. She tried to educate about diet, medicines, and general wellness.

Michelle worked in the pharmacy today. Her favorite part of the day was handing out clothing to the children. Tariq also worked in the pharmacy and said it went very smoothly.

Dr. Arita commented on how much confidence and consistency his two assistants had, despite this being their first time in the dental clinic. He said working with Barrett and Mary seemed like he was working with someone who had been doing it for a while.

Tonia worked with Marco in the eye clinic. They were not too busy today, so Tonia was able to spend time with their patients. One man came into the clinic only to get a cup of coffee, and ended up being a patient. He left with some reading glasses.

The deworming clinic was not especially busy today, because the children have been receiving deworming and vitamin A medicines in their schools. Most of their patients were adults, with the children receiving fluoride treatments. Teresa gave the fluoride treatments, and really enjoyed playing with the kids. Jason also assisted in the deworming clinic and said he really enjoyed it.

Mallory worked with Carlos today, who helped to triage the families and direct them to the tables that they needed to visit. Carlos’s son received a cardiac catheterization through FOBF’s Little Hearts Little Hearts Project. He is very grateful for the foundation and helps out where he can.

Donnie was the gatekeeper. When he wasn’t being crowd controller, he was comforting a precious little girl.

The evening ended with devotions about a starfish; whatever you do can make a difference to one person.

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