Following an initial consultation at Mkoba Polyclinic, 18 month-old Brighton was diagnosed with hydrocephalus - a condition that causes fluid on the brain and swelling of the head. He had undergone an operation the previous year to drain the fluid; however his family’s financial situation prevented Brighton from having follow-up consultations with the hospital. As on-going monitoring of his condition is important, the Nurse-in-Charge at the Clinic approached Antelope Park to seek assistance for the family. With a generous donation from a previous Medical Volunteer, Rhian, we were able to coordinate a follow-up consultation at Karanda Hospital.
Due to Brighton’s condition and the weight of the swelling of his head, it is very difficult for him to walk. With Rhian’s donation, Antelope Park was able to purchase a walker to make it easier for him to get around; much to the joy of both Brighton and his mum.
Recently Mkoba Polyclinic held the first HIV/ART Review Day specifically for children aged up to 14. Previously children and adults were reviewed at the same time. By separating reviews, the Clinic will now be able to provide more accurate numbers of children and adults on ART (anti-retroviral therapy) and help to establish appropriate support groups for these children. Approximately 150 children attended the Review Day, where they were registered and received health talks on HIV and ART, as well as counseling sessions. Antelope Park volunteers distributed snacks and refreshments and spent time playing with the children, face painting and listening to music. Volunteer Lene commented: ‘It was such a great day for the kids, the nurses and the volunteers involved'.
Medical volunteers are still enjoying attending the clinic for night shifts with the nurses, getting to know them better and observing when there is a birth. Volunteers have had the opportunity to witness a number of births, with one couple even asking the volunteers to name their baby.
Volunteer Lisa commented on her experience: ‘This nightshift was fantastic! When we first came to the clinic, we were made to feel very welcome. The nurses woke us for the first delivery. Both the mother and father included us in the experience; we were talking and getting to know each other. Much to our surprise and delight, the proud new parents asked us to name their baby – it was amazing and unbelievable! We named her Nydelig, which means beautiful and precious in Norwegian. This has been the best nightshift. Awesome!’
Following the recent donation of anti-psychotic medications, the Antelope Park Community Project Manager received a letter of thanks from Mr Chagweda, the Nurse in Charge at Mkoba Polyclinic, noting that our ‘commitment to health related matters is highly appreciated.’
You could volunteer on one of our medical programs and help to make a difference too.