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Arletta Chryścionko, a specialist in internal diseases and lung diseases from Tricity, has been in Malawi for over a week where she is working as a volunteer. This is her second trip as a volunteer to this country. Arletta for several days joined the Siwicki family, who have been in Malawi since May.
The volunteer is working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, where she started seeing patients already on the first day; some of them suffer from severe hyperthyroidism – however, in Malawi there is no possibility to check the level of thyroid hormones due to the lack of reagents; so, diagnostics is greatly hindered; others suffer from complications caused by hypertension. One of the female patients with this condition is going to take advantage of an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring system that the PMM purchased with money from a collection. Arletta is teaching the personnel how to use the monitoring system and the nebuliser that we also purchased thanks to your help. Last year we provided the hospital with a computer for examinations with spirometer, and it is still fully functional.
On the following days Arletta was also on duty at the mobile clinic – in a village tens of kilometres away from Blantyre. Approximately 100 patients came to the examinations, and they were examined by two nurses and two doctors, including our volunteer. Several patients had pneumonia or bronchitis, some were diagnosed with asthma or hypertension. Also, a lot of mothers with children presented with skin issues that resulted from using contaminated water. Apart from medicines that were handed out to the patients after the examinations, the doctors brought with them soap and recommended to bathe children in boiled water. Now it is the dry season in Malawi, their winter: the evenings and nights are cold, 13-15 degrees, and children only wear T-shirts so the personnel of the mobile clinic provided them with some warm clothes.
Arletta’s work is not limited to these duties but also comprises or is even dominated by education of the local personnel who daily use the equipment purchased by us; she also takes care of Malawian patients. Arletta shares her knowledge with all the employees at the hospital, and particularly with young doctors who assist her in the examinations.