Archive for July, 2018

Where There Is No Doctor – Angola Day 26

Monday, July 30th, 2018 |

  Pictured here with me are 37 nurse practitioners from the rural clinics associated with Kalukembe Hospital – CEML‘s sister facility. Many of these health posts are not connected by road, function without electricity, and are chronically short supplied. Yet these are were most Angolans first present with obstructed labor, convulsions, cerebral malaria, and all […]

“Excuse Me, You Seem To Be Blind” – Angola Day 24

Saturday, July 28th, 2018 |

  This woman’s loving son guided her into my consultation room, where she awkwardly sat down and began describing to me her persistent cough. During the conversation, she never once looked at me. In fact, her two eyes seemed to wander – and now always in union. After a few moments, I waved my hand […]

How Would You Manage This Fascinoma? – Angola Day 20

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 |

  Not every person coming for consultation has a significant illness. Indeed, Angola has a striking number of worried well afflicted with simple body aches and allergy symptoms. But roughly every other individual I examine presents with a strange diagnosis or very advanced pathology.   What is this fascinoma? A 35-year-old woman with a mass […]

Theirs Is the Kingdom of Heaven – Angola Day 18

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018 |

  Even after thirty years of communist indoctrination, today’s Angolan people remain inherently spiritual. They readily assure that  there is indeed a God and exist powerful spiritual forces. To say otherwise, in this country, is folly.  What’s more, even after the rapid exit of most all international Christians during the war years (1976-2002), indigenous Angolan […]

What Is Your Diagnosis? – Angola Day 16

Friday, July 20th, 2018 |

  This 63-year young woman arrived at CEML Hospital 3 days ago with large, full-thickness pressure ulcers of her entire buttock and hips. She was febrile, unconscious, and with a leukocytosis. Her lower extremities were both flaccid and without reflexes. We immediately initiated sepsis treatment with IV fluid and antibiotic therapy.   The patient’s family […]

Baby Liver Failure And Double Jeopardy – Angola Day 14

Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 |

  The challenge of low resource healthcare includes not just lack of assets alone, but also the spectrum of diseases that are especially common in such settings. Today is illustrative: parents came for consultation with this five-month-old whose eyes are yellow as a ripe banana and who’s abdomen is large as a watermelon. This quick […]

Music Therapy – Angola Day 12

Monday, July 16th, 2018 |

  Angolans love to sing in harmony, with vibrant gestures and expressive smiles. Last night, when I brought my travel guitar to the CEML Hospital ward and began to softly play Latin and classical tunes, I was immediately accompanied by their vocal improvisation. Next, without my lead, they launched into familiar hymns, like A Deus […]

How Are Your Skills At Landmine Injuries? – Angola Day 10

Saturday, July 14th, 2018 |

  What special skills are required of healthcare professionals who serve the most vulnerable people? The answer depends upon that particular needs of those people. Angola’s civil war, 1976 to 2002, was marked by famine that afflicted 2 million people. We who served in that era established re-nutrition centers for the profoundly malnourished. Osteomyelitis (bone […]

22,000 Eyes And Lives Restored – Angola Day 8

Thursday, July 12th, 2018 |

  I enjoy highlighting the inspiring service of Steve Collins. Born in Angola in 1938, Dr. Collins returned twenty years ago, bringing along with him special training in ophthalmology. But even more than this, Dr. Collins carried with him a compelling desire to alleviate the needless blindness that afflicts a mass of humanity in this […]

Meet Our Future Health Leaders – Angola Day 6

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 |

  I’m honored to introduce my Angolan medical colleagues: Piedoso and Alberto. They are among the very small number of national medical school graduates, and also among the tiny fraction of these who then choose to serve their low-income compatriots in settings like CEML Hospital. In 1989, when I first came to live Angola, my […]