Tancan 2013 Medical Mission

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August 23rd 2013
Published: November 6th 2013
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Friday August 23rd, 2013

Mpepai ….

Clinic Day 4: Today, the entire Tancan team journeyed to the village of Mpepai to provide a medical clinic for the surrounding community. Out of all the villages around Mbangamao, Mpepai had the largest community. They had their own parish, with Father Simon and Father Pachai as their parish priests. The clinic took place at the local school.

The clinic had a late start (T.I.A: This is Africa). We did not start HIV briefing and testing until late afternoon. In the meantime, Renata, Susan and I were practicing pricking each others fingers. A nurse showed us how to get the most blood out while pricking the fingers. You need to use your finger nail as a tourniquet and dig your nail in the finger while you prick the finger to get enough blood out to go on the pH strip.

We were also practicing our Swahili using the children books found in the classroom, and trying to converse with the locals. We did not have time to provide HIV testing to all the children but did a fairly large group around 200 with the little classroom that we had.

Afterwards, a group of us explored the village while we waited for our ride back to Mbangamao De Paul Secondary school. We had our first taste of sugarcane (yum !!). I can see why sugarcane can damage teeth. It is slightly sweet and takes a lot of strength to pull it apart.

We also learned from Suzanne how the people build their brick homes. They dig a hole in the ground and using soil and water they make clay. They mould the clay into shapes and then using a fire stove to harden the bricks. They also use a fire stove to burn their waste.

When we finally left Mpepai, it was starting to get dark. We heard stories about robbers stealing in the night and cars getting stopped on the dirt rode. It made for an interesting ride back to the school. Luckily, our car did not break down and we reached the De Paul Secondary school safely. Tomorrow is the last day of clinic where we will be running a clinic for the community of Mbangamao.

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