Thursday, May 5, 2011

2 posts in one week!

2 posts in one week! Are you guys so proud of me?
It's been another interesting few days in Kpando and the orphanage, though I realized after my last post that I forgot some things about the hospital, so I'm going to backtrack a little.
WARNING: this will probably only interest you medical folk! The gestational cut off age is 28 - 30 weeks (can you imagine???). One physician said they saw a 26 weeker once, but that child was able to breath on their own. Still ended up with MRCP and NEC (good old NEC, guess its everywhere) and a long hospital stay. They do not have surfactant and there are no ventilators for children. One hospital in Accra has several NCPAP machines and that's it for the entire country. They do not do central lines because they are too expensive to maintain, everyone has PIV's and may have those for a week or more. Hospital stays are generally 5 days or so, they try to keep it to that to keep the cost down for the families.
Alright, back to the current stuff! I went to a special school with the other volunteers yesterday. Its a school for mentally handicapped children in Kpando. The headmaster was very interesting and seemed very motivated and had a lot of really good ideas for new additions to the school. There are currently 40 students, mostly male. They start at the age of 6 and do schooling till they are 12. Then they spend 2 years trying the different vocational trades and after that pick one. They find a mentor in the community for them to work with and they spend 2 years learning a trade. The different options for trades right now are sewing, weaving, hair dressing, and manual labor. The headmaster is hoping to add animal husbandry and a few other options for the kids as well as adding a dormitory. This would allow them to take students from farther away. They are also trying to re-educate people in the community that mental disabilities is not a curse, that these people can be productive members of the community. It is common in African society to view mental disabilities as a curse. The children are often locked in the home and rarely come out. The students the day I went were doing yard work, cleaning up the grounds after being on Easter break. They use big knives to cut the grass, they take a big swing and WACK at the grass. I'm hoping to go back next week when school is in session.
Today I went to lake volta, which was a nice break. it is a lovely lake, with a lively fishing community in it. Women with big buckets of fish piled on their head heading from shore to the market to sell the fish, lots of local boats in the water. I also went to a wood carver today and saw some very beautiful work. Ghana is known for its carving and now I can see why.
Well guys, thats all for now. Hopefully more this weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Just got back from a 5 day cruise to Cozumel and I was excited to see some updates from you! It sounds like you are learning a lot from your travels. Miss you!