The Clinical Officer is available for consultations which are free. More complex patients requiring major surgery can be referred to the District General Hospital in Homa Bay (48km) or St. Camilla’s in Sori (28km) for x rays as we do not have this facility. Following the consultation, patients are diagnosed and where possible treated. More complex cases are referred.
Case History of a child who inhaled a coin
The child, brought in by her mother, was wheezing and quite poorly with a high temperature. Her condition had got progressively worse over the past 3 days, although she had been having breathing difficulties for the last 3 months. This is typical of families in rural areas where they are afraid to seek early medical help fearing the cost and not recognising the value of early intervention.
An x-ray was needed to help with the diagnosis and this required her going to the nearest large hospital at Sori on a motor bike taxi. Seven hours later she returned to the hospital with her x-rays. The Clinical Officer identified an obstruction in her trachea which was creating breathing difficulties. Initially we thought it was a husk from the fields but it was a 5 shilling coin made from copper with a silver ring around it. The difference in density of the metals caused light and dark x-ray shadow thus making it look like a ring with a hole in the middle.
This was now an emergency situation which required her to be transferred to Homa Bay District Hospital to see a Consultant Surgeon with the aim of removing the obstruction. They were unable to do this and she was again transferred to The Provincial Hospital in Eldoret and onto Nairobi Children’s Hospital where sadly she died.
The cost of the x-ray, transportation, hospital consultation
and surgeon cost was covered by KAP. Without KAP the mother would have had
no option but to take the child home where she would have died. Although
sadly the child did die, at least she was given a chance for treatment.
Sadly this is a reality for the majority of people we serve in this area.
Had she come earlier she may not have died.