Tag:tuberculosis

nkandla-kittenI rescued a kitten today! Omigoodness she is absolutely precious and wonderful. She's actually cuddled up on my shoulder as I'm typing this. I was walking home from the center after working then playing with the kids and along the road I all the sudden noticed two baby kittens (no more than 3 weeks old) snuggling on the side of the road.

When I got closer, I noticed that one of them wasn't breathing....oh man it was so incredibly sad. This one little kitten was just snuggling up against her dead sibling. Of course I had to take her home. I knelt down to pick her up and she went limp in my hands and immediately started cuddling with me. I took her back to the convent, and she's basically been purring in my arms and on my shoulders ever since. Oh man I would take her home with me in a heart beat if customs would let me keep her. She is absolutely beautiful; all black with glowing blue-green eyes. Unfortunately, there are too many animals here at the convent for the sisters to take care of her, so we are going to take her to the highschool and either have the principal or one of the teachers look after her. Being out here has made me want animals so badly. I've always been crazy about animals, but now all I can think about is someday having a BIG yard with dogs, cats, goats, and pot-belly pigs!

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nkandla-sisterellenThe last couple of days have been really cool! Yesterday I was able to go to one of the clinics with Sister Ellen and one of her assistants who is a health care worker. The clinic was packed with people seeking medical aid. The purpose for our visit was to meet with clients that are currently on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Our job was to check their adherence to the regimen and to follow up on their blood work and modify anything if needed. In South Africa, the CD4 count must be below 200/mm3 in order for the clients to qualify for ART. In other words, these people have to be VERY sick before they can get the medication they need.

While a third of the people here test positive for HIV, the number one killer is Tuberculosis. Luckily the Sizanani Outreach (who I'm working for) also does TB testing. The types of patients we saw yesterday ranged from a lady with AIDS that came in to apply for a Disability Grant (because over 90% of the people here are unemployed, the government has to subsidize most of their living), to a 13 year old boy with AIDS needing a refill on medication (he came alone to the clinic).

Sister Ellen is an incredibly hard worker. She was a doctor in Germany and has been living here for almost 30 years. I can't imagine the things she has seen and has had to do.

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