Monday, January 31, 2011

Words from Brittany

This January, I spent my J-term in Liberia with Kathy and Danny. I studied Liberia’s healthcare system under Danny at the Camphor Mission Clinic. The clinic can’t do a lot in terms of surgeries or specialized medicine, but there are some effective preventative programs in place that save babies. For instance, walked into the bush to reach villages for vaccination campaigns for pertussis, H flu, diphtheria, babies for Hep B. I also helped hand out the de-worming pills and an oral polio vaccination. The clinic is also equipped to treat and test for malaria. I acted as the lab-tech most days and helped by pricking fingers and testing blood for malaria.

Although Camphor Clinic practices mostly preventative, the Ganta UMC Hospital is providing surgery and diagnostic care. There is an eye clinic that removes cataracts, two operating rooms that repair hernias and perform c-sections, and a maxilo-facial dentist office that can pull teeth and repair facial trauma cases. I was blessed to work with foreign and local doctors and staff to see all of these clinics in action.

I learned a lot from each and every case I saw in both Ganta and Camphor. Danny was a great teacher who took the time to explain each case to me.

Medicine was the focus of my internship but I have had priceless experiences. I got to know the Camphor clinic staff. They taught me about my own culture and traditions as they taught me their own. I have made some great memories vaccinating babies, seeing Kathy’s love and passion with the school kids, playing countless hours of kickball and finding paradise beach. This trip has had a profound impact on my future and I owe everyone along the way for the helping to form who I will become.

Now it is back to Center College I go for one more semester of classes.

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