Hope Against Pus, Pain, and Hunger

October 22nd, 2021 by Nicholas Comninellis

“Adorable, little two-year-old Jacinta arrived at Cavango Hospital in severe respiratory distress,” says Tim Kubacki. “Ultrasound revealed a large amount of liquid in the space surrounding her heart and in one chest cavity. We drained several cups of thin pus, likely from TB, the consistency of motor oil, from her chest cavity, which had collapsed her lung, and about two cups of thick, creamy pus from her heart cavity (pericardium) with no available anesthesia. She was frightened but held still throughout the procedure that required repeating three more times in the coming days… Jacinta’s caring mother is a joy, full of questions and interested in everything we do, crying during her daughter’s procedures but looking on in amazement as she sees all of the pus removed from around her tiny heart.”

 

Tim is a family physician and a 2012 graduate of the INMED Professional Diploma in International Medicine and Public Health. Since 2011, he and his family have lived in the African nation of Angola, where Dr. Kubacki has been one of my colleagues at CEML Hospital. Passionate for those in rural Angola who have absolutely no healthcare, Kubacki, with his colleagues from both Angola and Brazil, serve at Cavango Hospital – the location so remote that travel by air is often the only option.

 

 

But in Angola, remote is where most people live. Life in that region is hard, with malnutrition and trauma making people especially susceptible. Surmises Kubacki, “Severe infections and addressing the resulting accumulations of pus are a common part of our work because of lack of access to medical care causing delayed treatment for infections that otherwise would be treated simply and painlessly much earlier. Lately, it seems every day we are draining pus from various body cavities in multiple people… from the heart, the muscles, the skin, the abdomen, chest cavities, the neck.” Please read more about Dr. Kubacki and hope against pus, pain, and hunger at KubackisInAngola.

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