In June and July, a group of Douglas College students are working with communities in
Zambia through our Zambia Global Leadership Program. Each student will be
sharing their experiences in a couple of posts. Today’s post is from Maria.
The other day I had the opportunity of going on a health outreach trip to one of the rural areas in Kitwe. Before we left the clinic, we loaded up boxes of supplies and proceeded to go on a 20- 30 minute drive to reach Mugala, a village that has no access to any health care service.
On reaching the town, a loud speaker was used to inform the villagers that we had arrived. The villagers then brought out a table and a couple of chairs so that our team could get ready and set up. Our team consisted of a doctor, a nurse, two other personnel and my colleague and I. It was all from this one single table that services like medical check-ups, dispensing medication, administering vaccinations and providing education on raising healthy babies and children were provided to the villagers.
Additionally, data was also collected so that a report could be created. Data like the number of suspected malaria cases present, what vaccinations were given and to which child, and the number of each kind of medications that were dispensed, such as different antibiotics, pain relieving medication, de-worming medications, supplements and oral re-hydration therapy that was provided to the villagers.
What surprised and astounded me the most was that medical check-ups were done without the use of thermometers and stethoscopes. It was interesting and extremely impressive to see quality medical care provided without the use of medical instruments but instead by using the senses of sight, touch, and sound and by appropriate and precise interview questions and assessment techniques. In about four hours, we had seen about 300 patients. It was remarkable to see how many of the villagers accessed this medical service of their own volition.
At the end of the four hours, while we were waiting for transport to arrive, the villagers provided us with some snacks as gratitude for everything. While we were waiting, the villagers also brought out vegetation and fish to sell, and every single item was bought and taken back to the clinic. The support received and given by both the health providers as well as the villagers was incredible, inspirational and heart-warming. I feel extremely grateful and blessed to have been a part of this wonderful experience and am looking forward to being a part of many more such amazing experiences.