Chiggers Clinic Saturday, June 1, 2013
7 o'clock wake up and during breakfast we had our chiggers training which obviously came with a bunch of appetizing pictures and and video of the procedure being done. Yet again we (more Megan) forgot to take a picture of our meal. First thing we did when leaving to go to the chiggers clinic was stop by the Nakumatt and pick up lunch then we took an hour drive to a church where the clinic took place. Turns out it open later because today is the 50th anniversary of Kenyan independence.
It’s funny that when you drive, people are staring at you and it seems strange, but give it was few awkward seconds and they happily wave at you, especially children and rural people. It’s like if you’re a mzunguu (white person) you’re like a celebrity. Anyways, at the clinic, it took us a little while to set up and get things rolling but ultimately we worked better than expected as a team. This was our first real team experience and it went great. It was like we been doing this for a while. How it worked is we had them wait outside and they would come in as spots were available for them at the foot soaking station. About ten at a time were able to soak their feet in an antiseptic foot bath, and they had to do this for at least ten minutes. As they soaked, we asked them if they have been dewormed within the past month and if they haven’t been, we would give them an albendazole. We were told that they like it so personally i’m convinced they did because they were hungry so anything would taste good.
More than we expected were cases with many chiggers and not just a few. Me and Megan we were at this station for most the time and it was funny when the kids would touch us because they were fascinated by our white skin. They would also speak in Swahili and laugh at us. We could only imagine what they were saying. One kid kept making a motion, putting something in his mouth and rubbing his tummy, towards me (Michael) asking for food, which was hard to ignore, but we were told and it was stressed that there be no special treatment because that is grounds for a riot. After soaking, they would sit across from the soaking station and wait to be seen at the final station which of course was the chigger removing station. Twenty minutes was the average patient here. But some cases were terrible. For example, mark worked on this one kid for at least an hour. He was tearing the entire time but wasn’t squirming because he knew it had to be done. Can you imagine how it must feel to be in constant pain from someone digging into your skin for over an hour? We later got the heart wrenching back story of this kid, which is he is a approximately ten year old boy living on the streets with no family. Some of the older kids found him and brought him to the clinic hoping that someone can bring him home.
We ran the clinic for a few hours and treated hundreds of people, mostly kids. Alongside the clinic, they set up an AA tent in effort to curb the sever alcohol problem in the area. Afterwards we cleaned up and then had a wrap up type speeches from a bunch of people then took a group picture. After the group picture a kid about ten years old came up to me (Michael) to shake my hand and give me a hug because I worked on his feet. It was really touching and made the whole thing totally worth it. It’s always nice to see that one individual who was effected and forever grateful. We took some pictures with the kids there and when we went to take a picture of a baby girl she nodded her head ready for the picture.