Story from the field by CHSC Pediatrician Dr. Lindsey Cooper serving at Nyankunde Hospital in the DR Congo
Little Chantal was admitted to the hospital in August, at the beginning of the Ebola epidemic. She had signs of malaria and sepsis (bloodstream infection).
One night she got really sick and was transferred to the ICU. Then she had a bloody stool, which is reason enough to isolate someone during an Ebola epidemic. The medical team saw her from a distance for the next few days, gave oral antibiotics and malaria treatment, and observed continued fevers. She looked anemic and was barely able to sit on her own. She was refusing food and we needed to get her tested for Ebola and hopefully cleared of isolation restrictions. The testing was done just in time and it allows us to provide life-saving care. She tested negative for Ebola and was transferred directly to the ICU. She received blood, fluids, wound debridement, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and therapeutic milk.
As it turns out malnutrition was a significant medical problem for Chantal. After 3 weeks she recovered enough weight and strength to be discharged. She will continue in the out has patient malnutrition program. Many children from her village of Tumbiabo attend our weekly outpatient nutrition program. They walk for three hours to attend our programs, obtain education and 1-2kg of nutritional corn/soy flour for porridge, and then walk three hours home again. It always surprises me that people are willing to travel such long distances for our outpatient programs. Nyankunde Hospital is meeting a needed niche in the community. We provide the nutritional and social support that families need.