My apologies for the belated blog post!
Outreach Day 2 in Lilongwe was a huge success for Team 1! We traveled to Msakambewa and operated out of a local hospital/clinic, which was roughly an hour and fifteen minutes from Mabuya Camp. Getting to our site was kind of an adventure–we drove on unpaved, bumpy roads and we seemed to keep climbing in elevation on our way there. We only had two rooms available to us, so we had to be flexible with our testing stations. Sara worked closely with Alinani, one of our friends from ABC, as well as a Malawian medical officer in the cerumen removal/medial management station. Dr. Busen and Megan screened patients in the waiting room while Ashley and I completed diagnostic behavioral testing with the help of interpreters. Megan and Dr. Busen also fit several patients with hearing aids towards the end of the day.
We faced several new challenges at this location. First, the waiting room of our site was not enclosed and thus exposed to the weather. Strangely enough it was really cold and even rainy at times throughout the day. We were definitely not prepared for cold weather, and apparently neither were our patients — some of them decided to not wait around to finish testing! Also, the power at our location was intermittent at best so we had to rely on generator power for a large chunk of the day. While it was essential, the generator created quite a bit of noise outside the testing area, which was difficult to work around at times. Despite these challenges, we managed to see over 70 patients in total, fit a few hearing aids and identify a LOT of people who required some sort of medical management that they otherwise might not have received.
We have a few more days of outreach in Lilongwe being heading north, so stay tuned!
Until next time — Elise