Anita and Bex are back at the clinic for a follow up check, both have had UTI.
There is a general consensus in the staff room that whenever you’re ill you get diagnosed with one or both of two things: Malaria and UTI (urinary tract infection). Moreover this is the doctor’s get out clause when he / she can’t admit they don’t know. Hence there is a widespread distrust of the doctors here.
I think that our early experience with the doctors probably bears this out. Nonetheless our second visit to a different and more respected clinic whilst debunking Malaria (along with Amoebic Infection) concurred with the UTI diagnosis.
A more sceptical colleague was dismissive of this too, but I’d like to suggest here why UTI might be more common than we would suppose. The rationale here is not mine but those of a UK trained Kenyan doctor whom Anita recently met. It make sense to me from my (albeit non-Biological) Science background and can be summarised as follows:
- It’s hot here – so we sweat a lot.
- We don’t drink enough water.
- We don’t go for a wee (pee) often enough.
The result is the urine is more concentrated and sits in the bladder for longer. This gives any bugs longer to get established before being passed. Hence we are more prone to infection aka UTI.
We can’t deal with the first point – it’s not going to get much colder – ever! So perspiration is not going to stop!
We have to tackle the second by drinking more, which will affect the third.
The problem is that water here cannot be drunk from the tap (not without risking further diseases). It comes either in a bottle (1.5L for 1000TzS) or else must be boiled, cooled and filtered prior to drinking. It’s a a bit of a palaver, but must be done.