Tuesday, February 9, 2016

An Update From Your School Nurses

The first couple months of our time here Mary and I usually dealt with all injuries by ourselves. We would grab out plastic gloves and bag of random medical supplies and run out to assess the situation. We would have a student come knock on our door or approach us out in the school and say please come someone is sick or please come someone is bleeding. Sometimes the only thing a situation entailed was applying a band-aid and giving a child a little reassurance they would be okay. Other times we have needed to apply a little bit of pressure and a lot of gauze to make a scrapped knee stop bleeding. Like any other school we have students who come to see the school nurses because they have vomited, they have a headache, or their stomach in paining them. We consult the medical box in the school office, listen to the student’s symptoms, give them medicine with a glass of water, and allow them to lay down on a mat outside of the office until they start to feel better.

More recently we have been dealing with things like gashes on a scalp from getting hit with a rock or boils growing on students necks. Now I have seen my fair share of doctor dramas and had a few trips to the hospital, but I am no way equipped to deal with these kinds of injuries! We are lucky enough to have a medical clinic in town with a group of nurses who can help us get our students healthy. Mary and I have traveled to the clinic a few different times with some of the students at out school over this past month. Although to us the clinic does not seem expensive (about 5 cedis/$1.50 for a medication and check up from a qualified nurse) most of out students do not have the financial luxury to attend the clinic. This means that a student will stay home from school for days or even a few weeks trying to get over an illness. We want our students to be in school and be healthy.

The most recent trip to the medical clinic happened this past Friday. Mary and I were working on a project at the house during first break. Mr. Opare knocked on our door with a little boy named Randy. Randy was crying and blood was pouring out of an open wound on this head. We asked what had happened and we were told Randy was running on break time, tripped and cut his head on a near by rock. I brought Randy into the office, put on plastic gloves, grabbed some gauze and started to clean the wound on Randy’s head. Mary came into the office after gathering information about Randy from his teacher, looked at Randy’s head and confirmed what I had been thinking; that is a deep cut. Although I know how to do a few basic stitches with a needle and thread I cannot sew up an open wound on a little boys head, so Randy and I made our way to the medical clinic. As we approached the medical clinic I looked over to my right and there was Randy’s mom riding up on a motorbike. The three of us proceeded inside the clinic.  Once they had taken the patient information from Randy they shaved the area around the cut on his head and cleaned it. The nurses said the cut did not need stitches, but it would need to have the bandaged changed and to be thoroughly cleaned out every two days.

I was so impressed by how brave this little guy was. He is one of the toughest first graders that I know. After settling up with the nurses, thanking them for their stellar work, and setting up Randy’s next five appointments at the clinic Randy and I said good-bye to his mother and made our way back to school.

Randy’s whole treatment and follow up appointments cost $15.00. Mary and I have been using some of the donated funds to cover these medical expenses and making sure our students can be healthy enough to attend school. Randy’s mother was near tears when the nurse told her how much money everything was going to cost, but when I stepped in to pay for the treatment and follow up she was beyond grateful. It seemed like every other word out of her mouth was “thank you” or “God bless you”. We wanted to share Randy’s mothers message with you, the people who have donated and supported us. You are the real reason Randy, his mother and the other students we have taken to the clinic feel so blessed. So thank you, thank you, thank you!


Anna, Mary, and Randy

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