You may be wondering...

..who I am:
My name is Amanda Baxley and I am from the teeny town of Hartsville, South Carolina. I went to the College of Charleston and graduated in 2006 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Psychology. After taking a year off to work, I got accepted to the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing. I graduated from the Accelerated BSN program this past December and am now officially a RN!!! I have had the same amazing boyfriend for the past 4 years now and will hopefully be lucky enough to be engaged to him very soon! And I definitely can't go without mentioning the other love in my sweet, adorable 4 year old Daschund named Sadie. She is my best friend and always beside me!

...what this blog is all about:
Giving others a chance to experience Livingstone, Zambia right along with me.

...when I will be in Zambia:
From January 31 until March 2 of this year.

...where Livingstone, Zambia is located:
Livingstone is the current capital of Zambia, a country in the southern portion of Africa. Livingstone is approximately 10km south of Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world.

...why I am going there:
To provide healthcare to the disadvantaged citizens of Livingstone. Zambia is one of the world's poorest countries in the world and, as a result, healthcare is ineffecient. Because of the lack of adequate healthcare and health related education, Zambia is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa most affected by HIV and AIDS. Growing up, I was lucky enough to see the way that my dad cared about people other than himself. So...long story short, about 10 months ago, I made the decision to go to Zambia so that I could begin using my medical skills like my father used his - to help those that are unable (no matter what the reason) to help themselves.

“For the first time in human history, we have the science, the technology, and the money to end extreme poverty. With this unprecedented historic opportunity comes the responsibility to act”.

Monday, February 16, 2009

February 12, 2009

Today was actually a really good day! This morning I did Dambwa Home Based Care with Bex and four home based care givers who were there to translate for us. We saw about 5 patients in total and ended up finishing around 10:30. All the patients that we saw had pretty significant health problems that needed to be seen by a doctor but all of them had transport problems. One lady had a necrotic left great toe. After I assessed her and asked her some questions, I finally came to the conclusion that she had an infection in her left foot. I told her that I was unable to gie her any antibiotics b/c we don't carry those around with us but that she really needs to be seen by a doctor at the clinic b/c the infection could spread and she could end up losing part of her leg. She responded to me by saying that getting to the clinic was very hard to do b/c it is quite a long walk and she hadn't eaten since Saturday (and keep in mind this was on Wednesday!). I came to find out that she quite frequently did not have enough food and she was therefore too weak to walk to the clinic. Uggghhh!!! It was so hard to not really be able to do anything for her other than give her some Panadol for the pain and tell her that we would try to arrange some sort of transport for her. It's really frustrating for me to go to someone's home to help them get better and have to just walk away without getting them on the road to a cure. I felt like all I did was give a little advice and say, "Hope you get to feeling better!" But, I guess I did all that I could do given the circumstances.
In the afternoon I did HIVE (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Education) with Bex, Gillian, and Brave. Since it was my first time doing HIVE, I really just sat back and listened to Bex and Gillian teach. Brave interpreted for them and did such a good job - he is so animated that he just demands everyone's attention. All the people in the class were constantly taking notes and were not really able to pay attention or ask any questions so I decided to make a pamphlet for the next HIVE classes. It has a diagram on the inside that describes (with pictures that I drew) what the HIV virus does to your body and on the other sides, as well as the back, it talks about how you can get HIV and how to protect yourselves and others that you may come in contact with. I am quite proud of it and am going to take it into town and make about 50 copies of it to hand out to the class so that they don't have to write so many notes. It is only about 500 kwacha per double sided copy - which comes out to about $3.00 for all the copies - so it is definitely something that I can afford. It will be a little donation from me......