We are on day 4 here in Addis. Our morning was spent at ALERT clinic, specifically in the pediatric HIV and inpatient wing. This is a government clinic, which means the care and medication is provided free for patients who meet certain financial requirements. We shadowed two Ethiopian doctors as they did their rounds and met with patients for appointments. TB and HIV are very common health issues seen in this clinic. Various health issues we saw today include pulmonary TB, meningitis, Bollous (skin disorder). Every child that comes to the ALERT clinic has either been exposed or is positive for HIV; however, many parents chose not to disclose this information to their child, leaving them unaware of their status.
In Ethiopia, it is common for both mom and dad to be working in order to support their family. In this culture, children are the least valued members of the family so it was very special to see, in some cases, both parents at the bedside or in the appointments. Because of our limited knowledge of Amharic, we tried to interact with the children in other ways, which mostly consisted of Coryn dancing and making weird faces to get them to laugh while Megan played peek-a-boo with the crying children :)
Whenever we have free time, we are trying to learn more phrases in Amharic which is the 2nd or 3rd hardest language to learn. I think we’re doing pretty good :)
We had a very “American” Friday night which consisted of watching the Vander Wal’s son, Matthew, play basketball at Bingham Academy and then headed back to the house for pizza!
These next two weeks are going to be filled with awesome opportunities…stay tuned!