Malnutrition strikes

This morning, I was greeted by an unwelcome sight. Six new patients, each with a respiratory or gastrointestinal illness, were admitted overnight from the emergency room. All were malnourished, five severely. They reminded me of the skeletons of the Congo, lying listless on the beds with their family.

Two of the patients have severely distended abdomens, the skin taught due to the underlying pressure. One seems to have severe constipation and the other, I am afraid, has his intestine blocked by parasites. He has been vomiting and one episode contained a long, thick worm.

We have a great load of work ahead of us for the next few days.

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