Nicholas Comninellis

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December 2009


For The Right Diagnosis, Know Your Community

Since returning from Angola, I’ve been caring for patients at Research Medical Center, here in Kansas City. Very often, they present with fever. Here, the causes I first think of are influenza, bronchitis, and the common cold. But in Angola, I’d first be concerned about malaria, typhoid and pneumonia. Knowing what’s common in a given community […]


Isolated on Christmas Day

This Christmas Day I am thinking of INMED’s faculty living and serving in some of the world’s most marginal communities: Tim Myrick (Middle East), Earl Hewett (Ghana), Steve Foster (Angola), Dennis Palmer (Cameroon), Paul Gray (Ethiopia), Jean Young (Ghana), Charlie Besley (Kenya), Victor Fredlund (South Africa), Bob Matthews (Tanzania), Rory Wilson (Uganda), John Spurrier (Zambia),


Inspiring Words from CURE Hospital

This morning I’m listening to NPR describe the work of CURE Hospitals. They are primarily providing orthopedic care to physically disabled children in the poorest nations. I was just about moved to tears as I reflected on the fact that INMED students are studying at one of the CURE hospitals. About the same moment, was

2009 Angola

Will He See Again? – Angola Day 23

  Image the pain of slowly loosing your eye sight, knowing that shortly you will be utterly dependent upon others to care for your most basic needs – pain like that experienced by the man in the photo above who is now entirely blind from cataracts. Then imagine the utter joy and elation of coming

2009 Angola

Exploring the Wilderness – Angola Day 21

  One of the pleasant characteristics of medical life in Angola is that the evening are generally quiet – except for the C-section Monday at 4 AM that just could not wait for daylight. Weekday afternoons are also predictably tranquil. I took a break from the Evangelical Medical Center of Lubango to go hiking and climbing in

2009 Angola

Sight To The Blind – Angola Day 19

  Pictured above is Steve Collins. This remarkable man began his career as a pastor in Newfoundland. As one of the few educated people in the area, Steve shortly discovered the town’s people bringing all their sick to him. So off he went to medical school. In 1991, about the time I moved to Angola,

2009 Angola

Truly A Hard Life – Angola Day 17

  Earlier this week I was talking with a 35-year old Angolan lady who lost her left leg to a land mine 10 years ago. Angola was once home to the highest per capita concentration of land mines in the world! Then, this lady lost 8 of her ten children to fever and diarrhea. No

2009 Angola

Sacrificing For Their Own – Angola Day 15 

  My thoughts often turn to the men and women who serve at Kalukembe Hospital. Located about 100 miles NE of Lubango, Kalukembe is a typical, low-resource, isolated town on the Angolan savannah. There the disease of poverty are more apparent, and the medical resources are way less than at the Lubango Evangelical Medical Center.

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Forgotten People

  Typhoid fever. At this moment I’m caring for a youth with this disease in the highlands of Angola, Africa. The typhoid ruptured six holes in his intestine, and has nearly taken his life. He is of the Ovimbundu people, for whom life has not changed in hundreds of years. The women and children tend

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