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Hospital Outpatient Clinic

Written on: Thursday June 14th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

We have been spending some time in the outpatient clinic of the hospital. In Nepal, this is the equivalent of GP practice. The parents bring their child to the clinic, queue up to receive a yellow card which they pay 15 rupees for (about 25p) and then sit patiently (or not, as is often the case!) to see a doctor. It is sad that so many parents struggle to pay this seemingly small amount of money, but as I mentioned before, they trust the drug stores and fritter away their money on 'cheap' remedies which are basically witch-doctor 'cures'. The drug stores are the only pharmacies, so either way they have to go there, but if they go there first, they will be sold all sorts of bogus treatments. In fact, even if they go there with a prescription, the store workers will try to convince them that a more expensive medicine is better, and unfortunately these tactics seem to work! (On a similar note, just today we noticed that you can purchase amoxycillin and ciprofloxacin in a supermarket!)

During the clinics we have seen some interesting cases, which no doubt will bore people without medical knowledge but I'll briefly mention on anyway ;)

The case of interest was a young boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition where the muscles are too weak to work properly. The boy was asked to sit on the floor and then stand up, and as expected, he struggled. The classic way they get up, is to push off things, and then work their hands up their legs to get to a standing position. Having only read about this before, it was very interesting to see in real life.

One last thing to mention about clinic - I noticed today that a lot of the children had string tied around them. Thinking that this was some kind of treatment, I asked the doctor, who informed me that actually, it was a belief that some Nepalese people hold, thinking that the string protects the child from evil. Random fact of the day!



From Dad on Jun 14th, 2007

Very intersting info, wonder if this disease will ever come up in the Tuesday quiz