Day 4 ~ We woke up at 7:00 am on Tuesday morning and were ready for our second clinic day. This time, we set off to a much more remote area near the city of Masaya to set up our clinic. Since the roads to our clinic location were not paved, the dirt and debris after the rain storm from the previous night raised some concerns en route to the clinic. But we arrived to our destination safely and on time.
Our clinic was set up at a local family home. In comparison to our previous clinic location, this place was much more isolated from the main city and did not have any sewage services. Our volunteer team got right into work and started interviewing our patients and performing basic physical exams and assessments.
The most common problems we found in patients in this community were malnutrition, parasitic infections and urinary tract infections. It was disheartening to see how many people are suffering from these often preventable problems due to poverty, poor sanitation and inadequate access to clean water. Coming from an engineering background, I realized how deeply a city's basic sanitary and water treatment infrastructure affect the people's lifestyle, and ultimately the health of the community. The health of people is reflection of the quality of the infrastructure and systems present.
My first few patients were young children and infants from the local community. I learned how different it was to interview and conduct physical exams for young patients. To properly evaluate young children, more than just patience is needed. From observing how Dr. Angelina and Dr. Belinda evaluate young children, I learned a few tricks as to how to calm my patients and how to take vital signs even when my young patients are agitated and difficult to manage. As my fellow volunteers and I gained more experience, we not only presented patient information to our medical staff along with differential diagnosis but also proposed treatment plan recommendations.
We returned to our homestay after a long day at the clinic. This was our last day with our homestay family before we head to our next destination, Ometepe Island. That evening, all the volunteers and all the families who have hosted us these past three days had our final get together. We exchanged gifts andshowed them what we learned at our salsa class from the previous night. We all missed our generous homestay family and thanked them for the warm hospitability they have shown us.