The Addis Clinic connects physicians to frontline health workers, allowing for specialty care in the most remote and underserved areas.
The economic burden of disease can be great for any family when the primary wage earner is unable to work due to illness or injury, but even more so for individuals with limited access to health care. The inability for a patient to receive appropriate treatment in a timely manner can have significant financial and emotional impact, as families are unable to provide basic sustenance while out of work.
A 34-year-old single mother of seven presented to our partner clinic in Belize with a large mass on the right side of her neck. It had started to develop over a year and a half ago during pregnancy, growing over time. Even after multiple attempts to drain it, the fluid returned and the mass enlarged. Due to the size and appearance of her neck, the patient had isolated herself at home with her children and was no longer working.
The physician in Belize consulted The Addis Clinic, as the nearest specialists were located almost 6 hours away. One of our Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician volunteers took the case, and through our telemedicine platform, engaged in careful questioning and back and forth analysis with the physician on the ground. He concluded that the mass was most likely benign and the result of a lymphatic malformation in one of her major salivary glands. The vessels of her lymphatic system were in some way impaired, causing fluid to accumulate, and not drain as it should. The ENT advised that surgery to remove the malformation would be the only definitive solution.
As a result of this consultation, our partner in Belize was able to encourage the patient to pursue surgery, and eventually, an emergence from isolation and a return to the work force.