Karen's Korner - 6.Mar.2009

What a week... for quality control!

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 What a week... for quality control!

 What a week it has been. God knew that we need some extra funds to help people with their medical expenses. We had 6 people come to us this week that tested positive for malaria and one that had typhoid and malaria and was hospitalized for two days.

But today I was totally enraged. One of Musu’s sons, Boney, came and said he’d been having fevers and diarrhea. We discussed what clinic he would go to and then I gave him some money and he knew to return with the receipts, diagnosis and any change. He also knew that I insist on blood work being done to confirm the diagnosis – many times people go into a clinic and say they have had fever and they just treat them for malaria.

When he returned he had a small bag full of medicines. When I asked him where he had gone he told me he had decided to go to a closer clinic . . . but that they had taken his blood and confirmed that he had malaria. When I started asking about the medicines they had prescribed . . . he told me that he had been given 2 IV bags of fluid and he didn’t know why they gave him the other medicines. He suggested we walk to the clinic to find out. So off we went . . . a short 5 minute walk brought us to a small “shack” type building that is a small neighborhood pharmacy. As we approached he pointed to the man that had treated him . . . but he was busy trying to cross the street and get away from us. His boss called him back and then I started asking questions. It turns out the guy is a nursing assistant and he took Boney into the back where he took his blood, started an IV, prescribed medicine and seemed to think it was just fine. When I asked to see his license he couldn’t produce one . . . but I’m sure the Ministry of Health would not be pleased to know of such a place. By the time I was done telling them of my displeasure . . . I don’t think Boney was very surprised when I told him if he ever chose to go to his own clinic again he not be receiving any further assistance from us.

But I suppose I should thank Boney as it has caused me to institute more quality control in our “insurance policy”. Kreig and I will be looking at several different clinics and hospitals to decide which facilities are acceptable. Then if people want our assistance they will be given a choice of suitable clinics where they can go . . . which may mean that they need to get up at 0500 to go get in line . . . but that’s just life here in Liberia. The early bird gets the worm when it comes to medical care.

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