Safari in Kiswahili really means journey so I guess technically we were on safari again today, but not in a national park. Our journey today took us to the village of Kambi ya Simba (Lion Camp) which is about an hour’s drive from Karatu and FAME. The village sits in a very fertile valley some kilometers west of the village of Rhotia and is on top of the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and high above the Masai Steppe. I have been coming to this village for the last two or three years to do what I’ve coined as a “mini mobile clinic” in deference to the five day, near campaign style mobile clinic that we used to run at Lake Eyasi (where the Hadzabe or the last hunter gathers in Tanzania live) and whose funding ran out a bit over one year ago. This is why neurology mini mobile clinics have become an important part of FAME’s services and one of their main outreach programs.
We arrived to the village to find a fair number of patients waiting for us, but it turned out to be a very manageable 21 patients which is pretty reasonable for neurologists to see in one day if Megan and I worked separately which was fine. Every patient we saw was totally appropriate from a neurological standpoint which is a great improvement over past clinics I’ve run. This is mostly because William, our outreach coordinator, has really worked hard to educate not only himself, but also the communities on what type of medicine we’re offering.
We worked at Kambi ya Simba until around 4:30 pm and then left for home. The clinical officer there worked at FAME briefly and while we were seeing patients asked if William and I could come over to his house for a minute. I didn’t want to insult him and so we did go to visit him quickly only to find out that he had a huge spread of food for us along with his two infants. The only problem was that we had already eaten our lunch which meant that I had to manage to squeeze a second lunch so as not offend and dishonor his family.
Good news regarding young Toby, the boy from Oldeani that we brought back to FAME with us on Saturday. As best we could tell this evening he hadn’t had any further seizures today which was a big step forward for him. The stroke patient was also moving her right leg spontaneously which means she may at some point be able to at least weight bear and stand on the leg.
It’s late here and we’ve got another mobile clinic tomorrow at Upper Kitete which is further along the rift than Kambi ya Simba and takes nearly twice as long to get to.
Hopefully more pictures soon when I get a chance to look at them.