Nicholas Comninellis

My Posts

July 2018

2018 Angola

Where There Is No Doctor – Angola Day 26

  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 […]

2018 Angola

How Would You Manage This Fascinoma? – Angola Day 20

  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

2018 Angola

Theirs Is the Kingdom of Heaven – Angola Day 18

  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

2018 Angola

What Is Your Diagnosis? – Angola Day 16

  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

2018 Angola

Music Therapy – Angola Day 12

  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

2018 Angola

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

  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

2018 Angola

22,000 Eyes And Lives Restored – Angola Day 8

  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

2018 Angola

Meet Our Future Health Leaders – Angola Day 6

  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

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