Hurry up and wait + Drugs

Today, I spent most of my time waiting on a server. I couldn’t get Ubuntu to install on a Dell Poweredge server. Suse worked fine, though.  (It looks like I might have avoided some of the problem by changing a bios setting from “I2O” to “Mass Storage” but there doesn’t seem to be a good reason that Ubuntu wouldn’t work where Suse could.) This meant even more waiting for downloads over a very slow, African satellite connection.  The installation CDs I had for Suse didn’t have Java 1.5 and, joy of joys, I couldn’t find Java RPMs Suse 10.  So I’m downloading an installer from Sun.  17MB. Oh, and did I mention that KnowledgeTree needs OpenOffice running in the background?  Another 170Mb download.  (And why is the OpenOffice download finishing before the Java one?) While I waited, I sympathized with a fellow American suffering from a recurrence of Strep.  She had used up her pennicilin just before we left on the trip.  She was fine when we got here, but then seemed to have a flare-up. Of course, being used to the American medical system, we didn’t realize that you can purchase pennicillin (and most other drugs) over the counter here after talking to the pharmacist/chemist.  Even though my brother and brother-in-law are both pharmicists, I’ve often wondered what exactly they were supposed to be doing besides complaining about drug-ignorant doctors.  Seems like the Ugandans (and many other countries, for that matter) have the right idea. Instead of treating doctors like health-gods who are supposed to know everything (when the evidence clearly shows how ignorant many of them are about drugs), it would seem like they could work more closely with the dispensers of the drugs to make sure they get the right drug and dosage to a patient. In a related note, I had to get an anti-malaria drug, Malarone, for my trip to Uganda.  I knew I was up-to-date on all my other meds since I traveled just south of here a few months ago.  So, instead of going to the Travel Nurse again, I went to my family doctor.  (He had been bugging me to come in anyway when I saw him at church.)  He gave me a perscription for Malarone that the pharmacist was willing to fill, but forgot to put down a dosage. That’s the perfect situation for getting the drugs directly from the pharmacist without requiring the bother of a scrip-writer as the middleman. Still, it was gratifying to see my doctor.  I hadn’t been in for 3 and a half years and, in the meantime, had dropped 30 lbs.

2 thoughts on “Hurry up and wait + Drugs”

  1. hepatitis?

    And did you take/bring something for hepatitis? or is that just an eat smart thing?

    The all Africa news site says it is epidemic in Uganda … in certain parts. I am assuming you are in one of the parts where it is not.

    It certainly is a good reminder to wash food before eating … anywhere. Be a raccoon … I wish the person who brought lettuce with a clump of dirt to that office party had done that.

    Briefly … Hepatitis E initially struck Kitgum District in October 2007, but has since spread to Gulu, Pader and Yumbe.

    Uganda has recently been hit by a string of epidemics including; Ebola, Meningitis, cholera, Bubonic plague in West Nile and yellow fever. A rare strain of cholera ravaged the eastern districts Pallisa, Tororo, Butaleja, Mbale and Manafw

    1. Re: hepatitis?

      That is Hep E and is in Northern Uganda, especially where there are “internally displaced” refugees. So the government is sending up people to make sure they get a basic sanitation message. 97 people dead so far from Hep E.

      Hep E (bet you didn’t know Hep had that many letters, did you?) can only be gotten by ingesting about 1g of fecal matter. Since people don’t sit around eating feces, it is pretty hard to get. So you can imagine how dirty those refugee camps must be.

      I really, really doubt that it is Hep E since we’re in Southern Uganda working with the MoH (which has Hep E posters plastered all over the place) and the outbreak is in the North where the refugee camps are.

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