Page 25 of Eyelidoc Travel Blog Posts


Africa » Swaziland March 25th 2012

Sorry this is out of order. I'm writing you from the airport in Johannesburg - just before our flight back Stateside. We leave in about 3 hours for Atlanta - a 16-17 hour haul! We left the Kruger Game Park early this morning, so have been in a van for the 6 1/2 drive to J-burg. Individually, I think we are all ready to come home and contemplate an impressive trip. Reflecting back, we've done a lot from our first night here in Jburg, a church service in Manzini, HIV/AIDS task force visits while in Manzini, the game park near Manzini, eye clinics in Manzini, Mbabuda and Siteki, Luke Commission general clinics in rural areas, Mabuda Farms, surgery -clinics-postops at Good Shepherd and Mabuda Farms - the idyllic setting we enjoyed for too little time. This ... read more

Africa » Swaziland March 22nd 2012

We began surgery today with Dr. Pons at Good Shepherd Hospital. Twenty-two patients were on the schedule for today – ambitious considering we’ll were to be teaching techniques. We started off with a tear duct bypass, a couple of cataracts, a bilateral squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva, a pediatric cataract that had to be cancelled because of a small pupil, another cataract with a posterior capsulectomy, another internal DCR I did with the ENT doctor while Dr. Pons did the anesthesia (general) because our nurse anesthetist left and went upstairs for an emergency C-section. We then started an impressive array of adult and pediatric cataract cases: one family where the mother and four children all had bilateral severe crystalline cataracts. The residents were involved and engaged and also performed conjuctival resection of severe pterygia and ... read more
Pre Op Area
Mixing Medications
DCR Surgery

Africa » Swaziland March 22nd 2012

0 0 1 143 816 Oculoplastics 6 1 958 14.0 Mabuda or "Place of Dreams" is the romantic farm atop the beautiful Lebombo Mountains in Eastern Swaziland near the Mozambique border. It is a place where time stands still, where the memories of colonial days are still alive and well. Mabuda Farms is ... read more
Sunrise at Mabuda Farm
The Main Homestead
Our Cabin on the Farm

Africa » Swaziland March 21st 2012

Shortly after we arrived back at the clinic, the van with another group from the big team arrived to pick us up to take us to a remote village to join the Luke Commission. Their vision is to save the Swazi people from extinction due to the pandemics of TB and HIV/AIDS by delivering compassionate comprehensive healthcare to the most isolated rural pareas of Swaziland. It was founded in 2004 by Dr. Harry and Echo (PAC) VanderWal and since then, the VanderWals have conducted more than 120 mobile medical clinics throughout this country with the highest AIDS rate in the world. A non-profit organization from the United States, The Luke Commission is funded by individuals, schools, businesses, churches, and community organizations in the U.S.A. and Canada, who donate their time and their money to enable the ... read more
Countryside
More Sugarcane
School Kids on the Road

Africa » Swaziland March 21st 2012

0 0 1 56 323 Oculoplastics 2 1 378 14.0 Dr. Pons and his wife Helen hosted the Eye team for lunch at their home here on Mabuda Farms. An elegant turn of the century African farm home. It is a large stone lodge on a large yard with gardens (roses, vegetables, fruit) adjacent to all the farm bu... read more

Africa » Swaziland March 21st 2012

Today, after breakfast in the Green Shed, the DMEI team joined Dr. Pons to head up to the Eye Clinic at Good Shepherd Hospital. This is a Catholic Hospital where Dr. Pons has established his eye service … for over a decade the only eye clinic in the country. He has grown and refined the services offered there, but is constantly challenged with equipment breakdowns, supply shortages and challenging clinical presentations. His staff has been honed and is quite good. He has evolved a computer database to track his practice with rudimentary data on over a decade of patients here. We began the day meeting with the medical staff. Rather interesting – one of them was an internist from Manhattan that is here working on an AIDS home care project. The rest of the staff were ... read more
Dr. Pons Pondering
Orientation to Clinic
Unpacking Donates Supplies

Africa » Swaziland March 20th 2012

The drive to Mabuda Farms took us to the three layers of the country named after the Dutch names for the geographic elevations – the High Feld mountain region; the Middle Feld – rolling hills just high enough elevation to avoid the malarial mosquitos and the Lower Feld sugar plantations in the valleys. The Mabuda Farms itself is an oasis in a beautiful country. We met Mrs. Pons – Helen – whose family has owned and vacationed at Mabuda Farms her whole life. Through a series of circumstances, the Pons family has come to own it and she runs a bed and breakfast here – multiple cabins with capacity for a lot of people to stay. They have a central kitchen and cafeteria (“The Green Shed”) where we met for dinner and had a great visit ... read more
Grocery Store
Fresh Fruit

Africa » Swaziland March 20th 2012

0 0 1 286 1631 Oculoplastics 13 3 1914 14.0 Tuesday meant getting packed and pulling out of the George Hotel in Manzini and headed out to do some lectures, clinics and then end up in Mabuda Farms in Siteki on the far eastern edge of Swaziland…just shy of the Mozambique border. The Eye Team ... read more
Examining Patients
Preparing for Lectures
Lectures at RFM

Africa » Swaziland » Manzini March 19th 2012

I think the visits with the HIV task-force stir-up strong emotions in everybody. Initially, I feel sad for those I saw. Instrospectively, I feel guilty for living a quality of life that most in the world only dream of and not doing more. It was painful to see what once was a vibrant 23 year old mother relegated to a foam pad on the family room floor due to weakness. She is getting her AIDS medications and TB medications and I believe she is taking them. I think if she could just get proper nourishment she would be in a much better state. Sad to think that her body is left with the tremendous burden of fighting these diseases and without adequate nourishment to do so. It's very humbling to participate in her care. Her Grandma ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Manzini March 19th 2012

Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFH for short) is probably the best hospital in Swaziland. That is the best of three. It has about 350 beds, with a very busy maternal child ward (9000 deliveries a year or 25 babies every 24 hours!), a busy outpatient anti-retroviral clinic (ART clinic), a "casualty" emergency department, pediatrics ward (with strong ties to the Baylor system) an ICU and renal dialysis unit (donated by the governtment of Taiwan), and general medicine and surgery services. They have about 30 physicians - 24 medical officers (general physicians) and 2 OB/GYN, 2 general surgeons, an orthopedic surgeon and a pediatrician. Half of the hospital admissions have HIV/AIDS related diseases. The hospital operates on a grant from the government (95% of its budget), grants (3%) and patient payment (2%). It has autonomy in managing ... read more
The Dispensary
Waiting in Line
The "Casualty" ER




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