The OPD today was very normal as indicated by the first part of this title. Many cases today were all acute coughs and fevers. We did however have a case where two siblings both did a RDT (Rapid Detection Test) and were tested positive for malaria. I was able to learn more about the oral drug for malaria. One of the siblings also had bronchopneumonia after we closely listened to her chest. Furthermore, there was another child who was anemic and Dr. Arthur tested me to see if I remembered the medicine for anemia as we had a similar case earlier this week. Luckily, I’ve been doing my homework and I was able to correctly identify the medication as Nexcofer. This medicine is an iron supplement responsible for building blood. People who are anemic have iron deficiencies cannot carry much oxygen to the body. I really appreciate Dr. Arthur’s willingness to challenge me and make me think critically about each case. She always makes sure I’m able to understand everything due to the language barrier (didn’t get to take patient history today). After work, Dominic (nurse from Monday) came over again today to talk more about communicable diseases. I will give a quick summary of the meeting based on the notes that I took. Malaria and upper respiratory tract infections are the most common communicable diseases in Ghana. 75-80% of cases seen at the teaching hospital are communicable. HIV has improved a bit but there’s work to do in this department to lower the incidence rate. We discussed four main environmental causes of communicable diseases in Ghana: water supply, sanitation, food, and climate. Rural areas lack proper draining systems. Some may end up consuming unhealthy water from the rivers and streams. They also lack proper sanitation and people may not wash their hands before preparing a meal or the vegetables prepared may not be clean. In terms of climate, we talked about how mosquitoes can be very active during rainy and humid seasons. This is the time when the prevalence of malaria is high. Due to the increase in communicable diseases in Ghana, the government intervened in 2010. They have sent free gadgets such as mosquito nets and condoms to rural areas. Ghana also initiated a program called CHPS (Community Health in Planned Services). All 212 districts in Ghana have at least one of these services. They essentially educate people about proper sanitation and ways to avoid contracting different diseases. Dominic will talk more about this program next week so I will leave it at that. In the evening, we went to the Abura district to do some street shopping. We didn’t find many things. However, we ended up going to a restaurant to try chicken shawarmas for dinner. It wasn’t a Middle Eastern shawarma but nonetheless it was very delicious. Tomorrow is my last day at the pediatric OPD with Dr. Arthur!
This is a picture of the main street in Abura. It is very busy during all parts of the day.