Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just a very quick word. Mark and I are settling in quite well, the house is a bit homely-er, less cockroaches (haven’t seen one in a week: combo of Raid and some cockroach gel) some things on the walls, but mostly us getting used to it. It has really potential to be quite a house, just so decrepit. We’ve submitted a detailed description of the house, who knows? Maybe some repairs will be done.

The medicine is going well. What has really struck us about HIV/AIDS is that you don’t treat it in an emergency. It’s not like getting in antibiotics “stat”. It’s a bit more like treating diabetes: a chronic, long term, ongoing process. The problem is that if you are non-compliant (or worse, partially compliant) with your diabetes treatment, the sugar doesn’t become resistant to the insulin in the same way that viruses become resistant to HAART (Highly active anti-retroviral treatment). Compliance is incredibly important, and your first shot is your best shot at treating it. So patients have to go for adherence councelling 3 times before starting treatment.

What else do we see: Tb. There are about 20 inpatients with TB right now. Most (I think) are HIV positive. Otherwise, in the out patient departement: Diabetes, Hypertension, colds, coughs, arthritis. And also large fungal infections, odd masses and so on.

Final word: there is a cholera outbreak in Opuwo (about 6 hours away), and up to a few hours ago we thought I (Alice) was going to go and help them out for a week from Monday (1st of March) I was pretty anxious about it. Now it seems I’m not going, but there is a lot of uncertainty about it, but I’ll keep you posted!

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