Today the team ventured to the village of Chigwaja in rural Blantyre. We made our way through the narrow, rocky roads where we set up in a local church. We started seeing patients around 9:30am and by 1:30pm we were finishing up, having seen 126 patients! Quite honestly it was a wonderful day that ran smoothly and considering we didn’t even have power at this location. We were able to treat several patients with antibiotics as needed. We removed a lot of earwax that resulted in immediate excitement and exclamations of “I can hear again!” in Chichewa. In the end, six hearing aids were fitted and provided for various individuals. Between all the audiology efforts, we enjoyed small breaks interacting with the kids and watching the locals munching on sugar cane like pros. (The team has quickly discovered how difficult it is to peel and eat the sweet sticks of sugar.) Some of us even got to experience a long drop, which is your classic hole-in-the-ground toilet. Apart from the outreach team, two speech pathology students and our supervisor went to AbleKids today. They collaborated with their speech language pathologist, Howard in providing speech and language services to children. They too had a successful day exchanging ideas and plans with Howard to assist those with communication needs in the community. Anyways, it’s safe to say it was another successful day in Blantyre. I feel like I can speak for the ASU team as well on how grateful we are to be working with the QECH Audiology team. Their guidance and experience in collaboration with our ASU team is allowing us to reach a wide range of communities while promoting sustainable efforts where quality of care can be maintained here in Malawi.
Check in tomorrow for another update!
Paige and HFH Team