Nicholas Comninellis

My Posts

November 2009

2009 Angola

Quinine For A Child? – Angola Day 11

  Yesterday I was caring for 3 year old child in Emergency here at the Evangelical Medical Center of Lubango. He suffered from malaria and was in respiratory distress. His hemoglobin fell from 10 to 4 in just a few hours – indicating progressive destruction of his blood by the malaria parasite. I had a very […]

2009 Angola

Why THIS child? – Angola Day 9

  Here, amid the heavy rain showers, in the background I can hear wailing from the Gomez family. I am so very shocked and saddened to discover that their son, my young patient with typhoid fever, abruptly died! Yesterday, 4 days after surgery, his condition appeared to be excellent. He was talking with me and

2009 Angola

What’s Binding You? – Angola Day 8

  This morning I was part of the chapel service that the Angolas do here each Thursday. Their singing is amazing, and I find is fascinating to see how they have translated some of songs from English into Portuguese. Sozinho, one of the nurses, gave a presentation from John 11 – the account of Jesus

2009 Angola

Feeling Pretty Helpless – Angola Day 7

  I rolled out about midnight in response to an urgent call from the hospital. The center sits on a escarpment that over looks the city, and it’s from there I shot one of the pics I share with you. Normally a gorgeous view, but at night the drive up the mountain is treacherous, with

2009 Angola

To Operate Or Wait? – Angola Day 5

  Last night I was listening to an African family sing softly as I examined their young relative with severe abdominal pain. He was deeply jaundiced, so hepatitis was my primary diagnosis. But his abdominal tenderness was steadily increasing. Could this be an intestinal perforation from typhoid fever? Was I bold enough to operate and

2009 Angola

Entry Shock – Angola Day 3

  This morning I cared for an older woman who care from the bush with an enormous cancer of her cervix. But fortunately she was feeling very little pain. All I could do was to explain to her adult sons that we had little to offer. It was way too late to operate. I hope

Low-Resource Healthcare Pearls

Forgotten Diseases

  Find yourself reluctant to let go a sneeze in public? Understandable, given the nation-wide anxiety surrounding Swine Flu. Feel good when you pin on a pink ribbon? Quite appropriate, given the ubiquitous concern for fighting breast cancer. And isn’t it comforting to know that today’s treatments for heart disease call for stents far more

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