Today was a long but satisfying day, navigating the healthcare system in Machakos. Our little girl MM was scheduled for an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat doc in Machakos town. MM was born 8 years ago with Cerebral Palsy (we think). She also had a cleft pallet and other septum issues. For sure she was oxygen deprived at birth and some birth defects. She has vision problems, cannot support her weight or communicate
MM is close to nine years old but weighs only 11kg. She should weigh at least 24. This morning we met mother and child at the local hospital, waited in line to be seen. We were sent by the ENT doctor for a CT scan and waited in line. Then we also requested a chest x-ray, since you could hear pneumonia like fluid. After getting all the films and another meeting with the ENT, we waited in line to see the nutritionist due to her failure to thrive.
The nutritionist did an evaluation and helped encourage MM’s mother to give her vitamin-rich foods but they would need to be smashed up. She also gave mom some enriched porridge packets and plumpy-nut, the paste I had heard and seen so much given to starving children on TV. Both of these are provided by USAID!
After taking mom and child for lunch and buying some of the recommended foods, we headed home with prescriptions for an antibiotic, antihistamine, cough syrup and a type of Tylenol. What a challenge to communicate the dosages and time for all these medicines.
So we will see. We have additional appointments in two weeks. The nutritionist actually thought she should be admitted to the hospital but, we will do our best.