Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Modern Medicine

The other day, I came home for lunch and noticed that Benjamin, our day guard, had one of those little plastic name tags clipped to his shirt. Not sure where he managed to pick that up. However, instead of his name in there, he had written in his job description! We thought it was kinda cute. Maybe we should be thinking about getting him a real ID tag :)

A couple of nights ago, we were out for supper with friends and had just finished when I got a call from our night guard. He said that Benjamin had come to see us. Benjamin doesn’t have a cellphone yet. But the fact that he’s coming to speak to us in the evening could only mean one thing: somebody in his family was seriously sick.

Sure enough, when we got home, we learned that his little daughter was quite ill and he needed money to take her to the clinic. So we gave it to him.

Yesterday, he brought us the prescription he’d received for her. It was exactly what we’d expected: the shotgun approach to medicine that they use here. Rather than running tests and coming up with an exact diagnosis, they just prescribe a broad spectrum of medication in hopes that one of them will hit the problem. So on the prescription was an anti-malarial, an antibiotic, painkiller, and a cough syrup. Well, something must have worked because Benjamin says his daughter is better!

Our night guard, Harouna, has been having some health problems too. A couple of weeks ago, he was off work for several days due to a bad case of malaria. Then he had a sore stomach and kept throwing up, so the doctor prescribed a laxative. Last night he came with a prescription for four different Chinese herbal medications that he’d received from a Chinese clinic. These were going to cost us a small fortune, and Kathy didn’t recognize any of them. Nor did we have any indication what they were supposed to be treating. We told him to go to a regular clinic and get some proper tests done. We’ll see what happens :/

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