Ileret froze still for a few hours in anticipation today. All were anxious for the air rescue of two medical patients with meningitis by the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF).
The two male patients had come from a village over 15km away from Ileret (Ilkimere) and presented themselves about two days ago to the TBI mobile clinic nurse. Unfortunately, they came after over a week of being infected so the cases were highly complicated. After failing to respond to the existing drugs, lack of other alternate drugs, then further deterioration of the patients’ health, the only alternative was to request the help of AMREF.
The patients were airlifted by AMREF to Wamba Catholic Mission after the TBI mobile team and two Community Health Workers (CHWs) worked to provide medical attention with but lacked Ceftriaxone, adequate equipment, or other therapies to continue. Unfortunately, the patients both died upon arrival at Wamba. Another clear example of the gap still to be met for heath care in the region. With no Ministry of Health (MOH) nurse running the local health centre, and no drugs supplied in Ileret for three months due to a district-wide shortage, Ileret has had a very difficult year so far. But help is not too far away.
Following the crisis, TBI Outreach has opted to assist the community with one of it’s vehicles to pick up drugs from Marsabit (500km away) as it has been communicated to us that they are now in stock. This incident has also brought a greater reason to maintain the mobile outreach work, and continue to ensure that the community will not be left without a nurse attending the health centre by having the TBI nurse work at the health centre part-time in addition to mobile duties. The mobile clinic will also continue to carry out surveillance in Ilkimere to make sure no treatment for patients exhibiting similar symptoms is delayed. TBI mobile is still looking for permanent partners to collaborate with airlifts of non-emergency patients so as to avert complications resulting from delayed treatment.
Pictured far top: Esho the mobile clinic Driver looking on at the patients being attended
Joar, TBI CHW attending to patients while waiting for the airlift.
Volunteer TBI mobile nurse, David Muriithi (far right) with attending AMREF doctor and nurse. David has been standing in for the permanent nurse Beatrice until she returns from leave.