Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Save the Mother ... Save the Baby

Her exact words were, "When you see a nurse coming you know you are finished."

She is pregnant for the 5th time.  She lost one baby and she would have lost another one if she had followed the nurse's advice.  Her experience is not unique.  No ... it is actually common.  Medical care in government facilities in Uganda is more than unpleasant.  It is sometimes deadly.

Her pregnancy this time is proving to be utterly different from her previous ones.  And, she is very much at risk during this one.  She has DVT ... Deep Vein Thrombosis.

DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually your legs.  It is a serious condition because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism).

Shallon, her husband Philip, and Vicky
In simple terms it can be deadly.

During our recent medical mission in Uganda I took a patient to the lab to be tested for HIV.  He had lost a lot of weight, looked weak and fatigued, and in general poor health.  His test proved to be negative, but the one for TB did not.  His condition put me in the right place at the right time.  I encountered a lady struggling to drag her left leg with her, into the waiting room of the laboratory, with grimaces of pain disfiguring her face.  Characteristically I invaded her privacy to inquiry about her condition.

One thing lead to another ... doctor exam, baby scan, blood work, and diagnosis:  DTV ...

"Seriously?  I'm going to inject myself?"
Consequently, Shallon became the 6th and current pregnant lady sponsored by the NGM Maternal Advocacy Program.  Her condition was serious enough that she was admitted to a private hospital in Kampala for six days for bed rest and a drug called clexane which is one of a group of medicines called low molecular weight heparins.  These medicines work by reducing blood clotting activity and is considered safe for the unborn baby.

Shallon was hospitalized for 6 days.  The cost for her stay to NGM MAP was $330 ... and in a facility that is considered one of international standards.  However, the cost of the clexane she took and was given for 7 days after her discharge amounted to $543! This is a very expensive drug.  And, Shallon has no option but to continue giving herself injections until six weeks after the delivery of her baby.

Shallon is now comfortable given herself injections.
After diligent research by Vicky, the new intern for MAP, Shallon, and me, we have found this short shelf life drug for a cost of $30 per injection.  Shallon needs it twice a day.  Caring for at risk mothers in Uganda, while ridiculously less expensive than developed nations, is expensive.  The next month of clexane will cost approximately $1,800.

Tuesday, Shallon met her baby doctor, Dr. Emma who works for International Hospital Kampala and is also a fellow member of Worship Harvest Naalya. She will be under his care until six weeks after delivery.  Shallon has approximately six weeks before her due date.

Would you like to partner with us in expressing God's love and care to Shallon and her family?  Simply write a check or use PayPal to donate to Next Generation Ministries.  Designate your contribution for NGM MAP or the Maternal Advocacy Program.

Mail your check or money order to Next Generation Ministries, 29940 South Dhooghe Road, Colton, OR 97017.  Thank you for being a part of the team.

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