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Angola – Doing so Much with so Little

Cummings BlogThe is the story of “J” and his brother. They came to Kalukembe back in March, having each been bitten by a puff adder in their legs the week before. After a failed round of traditional medicines, their limbs were in bad shape. J ended with an above knee amputation and his brother, F, fought weeks of infection that finally settled with thus far just a few toes taken off. We had no antibiotics when they came, so the family went looking around in the pharmacies for the injectables I prescribed. Then we ran out of dressings and they went days at a time without changes during critical phases for controlling their infections. And they also came at a time when we had no tetanus (I hoped treating with penicillin and metronidazole would take care of that). In the beginning, they cried any time I entered their room. They associated me with all the painful care they had received. Fortunately, the debridements became fewer and the antibiotics and dressing changes took effect. They have become two of the brightest smiles on our ward. They love drawing pictures and keep wearing down the pencils I give them. 


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