This week I started my internship at the Familycare Medical Centre in Thika. On Thursday we did an outreach in a nearby community. We got to use a couple of rooms in a clinic to set up our tools and things in. It was a long day, we worked from 8-19, offering free services as HIV-testing, counselling in family planning, breast examination for breast cancer and screening for cervix cancer.
The first part of the day I sat at the registration table where we took the name, age, weight and blood pressure of every patient before they went in for the services. I mainly got to take the blood pressure digitally which was interesting and made me feel as if I was a nurse. I also grabbed every opportunity I got to hold babies for the mums while they registered. After lunch, consisted of the classic chai tea and mandaza (similar to Danish pastry but more like bread), I got to help out in one of the examination rooms. I worked with two young admirable women, Fayth, a doctor and Alice, a nurse. They were so kind and sweet to me and taught me so many things in just a few hours. With supervision I got to do one breast examination and then I observed and held the torch while they did the screening for infections and cervix cancer. They uses two different types of vinegar to see wether there are any cell modifications or not. If there are, the vinegar changes colour and the patient will then be referred to the Medical Centre to do a pap smear, a screening which will give more specific information of the abnormal cells.
I was really amazed of this cheap and smart way of detecting cell modifications. Altogether it was a really good and instructive day and I think we were able to give services to about 130 ladies in different ages. Next week we will make two more outreaches in even more disadvantaged communities and I’m looking forward to it. It is such a nice feeling to get to do something practical for someone else. Even though it’s not much it can still make a difference in the daily life for people.