Day Six in Honduras
San Lorenzo is on the side of a mountain and is one of those picturesque places you read about in story books. Red Cannas bloomed along the side of the road and at one point we were part of cattle drive–a familiar site for Texans. Our clinic was set up in the local school–which was extremely clean; a set of latrines in the back. I occupied the kitchen with a traditional cooking stove while the other two doctors worked from the porch and an adjoining room.
unfortunately we began the day nearly out of many medicines and it was not long before we had registered over 160 people. Many of them had walked 4 hours to see us. We talked about our resources and none of our options were ones we liked, but we ended up cutting off the triage late morning. The local organizers were extremely efficient and kept order among the folks waiting.
Somehow I seem to always see the last patient who arrives and who is always ill. This was a little boy who felt hot; had a nasty sounding chest and clearly needed more than what we had to offer. We had run out of syringes but had women wanting Depo-Provera shots–we had the Depo-Provera but no means to give it. I got a bottle of Tylenol for the baby–but then had no way to give it–thinking perhaps I could pour it into the cap–then I remembered I had a spoon from the airflight meal in my backpack. That baby took that Tylenol–vile as it is–and it was not long after that we were able to head to the hospital in Danli.
The hospital is very much like most other hospitals. We were met at the gate by a guard who let us in–I was wearing a scrub top. We went into the Emergency Room, registered the patient–the mother had brought his vaccination record with her. The waiting room looked like most waiting rooms, rows of chairs with people of assorted sizes. After some time, we went into the main ER area. It was not so different from what I remember ER’s of fifteen to twenty years ago with a nursing station in the center and stretchers lining both sides of the rooms.
The staff seemed extremely dedicated to their work; and despite the crowded conditions and the confusion of people wandering in and out, smiled and laughed and were clearly genuinely interested in the patients and their problems. Their supplies were extremely limited, much of it donations or bought by the staff. The baby was evaluated by a very pleasant and competent female physician; she ordered an Xray and lab work. A technician drew the blood, an old plastic bottle was their sharps container on one cart, and empty glove box on another.
We carried the blood to the lab, and then sat for the Xray. Before we could get the xray, we had to pay for it—40 lempiras—about $2 US. Other patients pointed out where we should put the labwork and where we should go for the xray.
The baby did not need admission but was given an antibiotic and because he was very badly anemic, a prescription for iron. We gave the mother money to get home and I was dropped off at the hotel.
I was pleased to see the inside of the hospital—and happy that little boy came in to see me today–tomorrow he would have been a much sicker baby.
Tomorrow we pack up and go home. It has been a long trip with many challenges.
This year all the photos are in one gallery; they are not in order but they will give you a good flavor of what it was like. There are two small movie clips; one shows mango harvesting–they are picked by hand one by one–and the other shows you where the road fell off the side of the mountain.
or you can go to smugmug; find ysr612, then family gallery(way down at bottom); then Sylvia’s pictures and then you can find the Honduras photos of not just this year but previous years as well.