28TH AUGUST TO 1ST SEPTEMBER 2023
The airstrip in Ampasinambo is very short, which limits the weight we can carry. Fortunately there were 2 nurses at a basic health centre 2 hrs away who helped in post-surgery particularly. The river between airstrip and village was shallow enough to wade across.
During set-up, the generator had a problem, so we had to hire another from Sahakevo, a day’s walk away. Eventually our generator was repaired.
On day one, we had an emergency situation with a woman with a vaginal fistula. We had to refer her to hospital in Mananjary, but were able to stabilise her with antibiotics for 3 days.
It rained heavily from the first evening and did not stop for two and a half days, causing the river to rise considerably. The torrential rain reduced the number of people able to get to the MMS.
A heavily pregnant 44 yr old woman had already been waiting for us for a few days.
Ultrasound showed that she had lost a lot of the waters already; the baby was starting to suffer and needed to be delivered as soon as possible. At earlier consultations and tests with local doctors she had been told that there was little chance that the pregnancy would come to term. We performed a caesarean section under local anesthesia.
During the operation, the surgeon noticed that the woman already had a problem with her cervix because she had already tried to attempt her delivery with the local midwives. The operation went well, a little boy was born, he had a little breathing problem on his way out but we revived him and he is safe; we gave him antibiotics because he already had an infection from the womb.
5 hours after the operation, the woman had a seizure and a heart attack.
She was resuscitated but 2 hours later she died, after a further heart attack. It was the great despair for all of us. The same evening, his family took the baby boy to their village (2 hours walk). They gave him the name Anjara which means destiny.
The young boy we met at the previous MMS to Ampasinambo who had arm osteitis came to see our doctors again because his arm is not not yet cured. We also met once again little Emeldinah the girl with hydrocephalus. She is OK, but was coughing a little, so we gave her vitamins and treatment for the cough.
Another man had been hospitalized for a week suffering from neuropaludism. He was seriously ill, out of breath. We gave him treatment and put him on oxygen for 2 days because when we arrived, he had a crisis, he could no longer breathe. When we left, his condition had improved a bit. We pray that he will get better and better.
In general, life is getting harder and harder in Ampasinambo. Malaria is rife; most of the patients consulted have malaria, and also tuberculosis.
During the mission, the Pastor carried out an evangelization in each home. There are still people who live in idolatry and some of them refuse evangelization in their home. Dr Ralambo (surgeon) and Dr Claudio (echographer) were knocked down by a canoe with some luggage. Fortunately, our takeoff was late and it allowed them to dry their clothes. For take-off, we had to wait another hour because there was not enough air to take off. The team had to be transported in 2 groups for a stopover in Nosy Varika.
This mission was the most stressful for the whole team, with the death of the woman and especially the bad weather. Fortunately, on Thursday, the weather was fine and the rain stopped. We were afraid that the rain would continue because if it didn’t stop a day before departure, the plane could not land or take off.
Despite everything, we can say that many people still have hope in MMS, and this always encourages us to go ahead and do our best. We received a lot of encouragement during this mission
Medical consultation 154; Ultrasound 43; Dental extraction 70; Surgery: major 3, minor 1;