Sunday, September 6, 2009

To Be or Not To Be

We have a bit of a situation on our hands that could use a bit of Godly intervention if you could spare a few prayers. Nearly a month ago, one of our girls was diagnosed with TB after having been sick for quite some time. Although glad to finally find out how to treat her, we then also had a huge situation on our hands…where did she get it from and how do we keep everyone else from getting it, especially those who are HIV positive and therefore much more susceptible. So then began the saga of testing all 57 kids, 26 staff, and the volunteers. Since we apparently didn’t have enough adventure in our lives, we began taking them in groups to the hospital and one of the nearby clinics and waiting for hours on end to be called to hack up loogies in little green cups. However, we very quickly ran every clinic in Katima out of sputum testing cups and, on top of that, the lab technician got called to Windhoek before the first group of 20 kids could even get their test results. They unfortunately don’t have that convenient under-the-skin, get-the-results-the-next-day test…instead its just a series of 3 spits and, three weeks later, we still have no results and there are still no cups. Meanwhile, we are only praying that it won’t spread while we sit here with our hands a bit tied. And on the prayerful note, latent TB can remain in the body for years before becoming active…and won’t test positive unless it’s active. If we don’t get this situation under control, we could have a bit of an ongoing epidemic on our hands. Please pray for Godly intervention for the health of these kids as well as some increased cooperation from the doctors…they don’t seem to realize the magnitude of our situation here. On a more positive note, we were able to finally get the 12 youngest kids on a prophylactic drug since they can’t cough up the sputum. But that also means an extra 10 kids getting meds for the next 4 months, in addition to the twenty some that get meds daily already. The biggest joy will be Josiah, the 1-year-old, ha!

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