Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two little deaths and a little chance at life.

I have just gotten back from Lormoruchbea where it has been a tough couple of days. I had barely arrived and wasn't even fully out of the truck yet when the brought me the first little kid. A little more than a year old but not yet two, he was extremely lethargic, cold (hard to be when it is 95 degrees in the shade) and obviously extremely dehydrated.  I didn't have a translator with me but I think I understood he had been vomiting with diarrhea for a few days then it stopped. His breathing was really fast but then he would stop breathing. I tried repeatedly to get an IV line in but never managed. He died within an hour of my arrival. They all took it in stride with an attitude of "these things happen".  But it just make me so sad because the death of a child isn't something a mother should think is inevitable.   Unfortunately it got worse. The following day I woke to the sounds of yelling outside my house. They had brought me another little one from a village about 30 minutes walk from Lormoruchbae. This one maybe 7 months old. She was also dehydrated to the point of death. It was still two hours to sunrise and I don't drive in the dark when I'm in Karamoja so I prayed and waited with them. But it was too late again. They packed up the little body, the mother tied it on her back and they headed back home as the sun rose.
ORS packet
Over the course of the day the VHT and I went around and assessed other young ones in the village giving out packets of ORS to anyone who had a child under 5 years old with diarrhea. Which was all of them. I couldn't assess if they all actually did or if they quickly figured out they got something free if they said they did. I didn't fight with them. These packets are salt, sugar and potassium and I can get them for .25 so we gave them freely, talking about dehydration. We discussed with them about how bad their water is right now because they haven't had rain in so long so they really need to boil it first. Mothers nodded and said they understood. But I've taught this before. It all feels so hard.
Assessing kids for dehydration
The long, hot walk to get water

1 comment:

ferrelli said...

Oh Jennifer, what tough days! It is difficult for me, and probably others too, to read about the days you go through. That is until you say "within an hour he died." There is nothing clearer than that. My prayers for you will be for strength and answers as you go about being the hands and feet of God each day. Thank you for all you do. Sue Ferrell