Amputation avoided with natural remedies

By Sister Marcellina McCarthy

tanzania_juma_burnsWe see a lot of burns in Makiungu during the dry season. With no water locally available in this semi-desert area, a small fire can set a whole house alight very quickly because the house is made of dry rushes. The homestead can turn into an inferno very quickly. This is what happened to Juma.

marcellina_mccarthy_tanzaniaWhen Juma was brought to the hospital, the doctors were advising amputation of his fingers and there was also great concern about his leg. He was reluctant to face amputation because he needs to work as a small farmer. We set about treatment using normal saline soaks and sterile dressings while carefully building up his nutritional status and immune system with magnetized water.

tanzania_juma_in_gardenJuma, a devout Moslem, told us he didn't mind how long it would take as long as he could use his fingers again. He showed great patience. He spent six months in the hospital getting his dressings renewed every second day. It was also important to make sure he spent time out in the fresh air every day. This reduced the risk of cross infection. Juma would sit under the tree for hours, helping his own body's healing process. After his six months with us, he went home well and was very happy that he avoided amputation of his fingers and leg.

Our department provides complementary therapies like reflexology and magnet therapy, and we are also responsible for the care and dressing of wounds for the entire hospital.

Another key aspect of our work is growing nutritious fruits and vegetables right here beside the hospital. Careful watering is needed.

Our banana plantation is watered by the run-off from the laundry. The produce of our garden can be used to treat many of the illnesses we see. We are very proud of our pau-pau, whose seeds and skin are very useful.