Catherine Showalter Kaanse Language

To: Martha Norris at Allin1
From Catherine Showalter, Kaanse language project, Obire, Burkina Faso

We have had some good experiences with the Zapper. I don^t know that they asdramatic as might be desired, but here is one. You can decide. Happy editing !
We were just getting ready for bed when a soft "ko ko" came at our door. stepping out into the dark night, we couldn't see at first who was there. Then we recognized Philippe, the young Kaan pastor.
“A relative of mine has been bitten by a snake. Could you bring your machine and treat him?"
Stuart got ready to go, we shot questions at Philippe, "When did it happen?" "Sunday", he replied. Sunday! This was Thursday night. It had en more than four days already. "Do they know what kind of snake it is?" It was a "kpirkirie", he told us. He didn't know its French name, said it was "small and mean. If it bites you, you can bleed from all your your body." Later' family members identified it by pictures as an its leucogaster, a deadly member of the viper family.
“What kind of treatment has he received so far?" Philippe explained that the family had tried indigenous treatment, including the "black stone", a small porous stone that is stuck to a snakebite wound to draw out the venom through capillary action. But when the young man continued complaining of stomach pain, and began coughing and vomiting blood, they sent for Philippe. They asked him to take him on his motorcycle to a shaman healer Pastor Philippe refused, saying if he took him anywhere, he would take him to the dispensary in Loropeni. Finally the family agreed. Once he had settled at the dispensary, Philippe came to get Stuart and the Zapper.
When Stuart arrived at the dispensary, he found 20-year old Dongo lying on the matt in the dark courtyard. His left foot and leg were badly swollen. He briefly described his symptoms to Stuart, who had to kneel down and kneel down to hear his barely audible words. The worst pain, he said, was in stomach and lower back. The family said he had neither slept nor eaten since being bitten, while working in his field Sunday morning. He had received anti-inflammatory and antibiotic injections at the dispensary, but symptoms had not diminished. Since there in no refrigeration, there is no way for the dispensary to store expensive anti-venom is available in larger towns. And in a country where the average annual income is $200, few peasants can afford the $55 price tag on one anti-venom shot.
Stuart explained to the nurse practitioner in charge of the dispensary, and Dongo and his family that Zapper treatment is experimental.

Dongo told him to go ahead and shock him.
AS the nurse-practitioner and a crowd of family members gathered around folding flashlights, Stuart got out the Zapper and explained what he was going to do. Then he gave Dongo a series of three shocks, a few minutes apart . Dongo noticed an immediate diminishing of pain in his leg, but still the greatest pain was in his stomach and back.
Then the nurse practitioner asked Stuart if he would also shock a second patient . A seven or eight-year old boy had been bitten three days earlier, as he reach ed down a hole in search of a bush rat, and found a Cobra -instead, his family said. His left hand was inflamed and infected. He too had received anti inflammatory and antibiotic injections, and attempts had been made to drain the infection, but unsuccessfully.
Again, Stuart explained what he was going to do and got permission from the family before proceeding. He shocked the young boy's hand twice, then had to quickly move out of the way as the wound opened up and the infection poured out. With the draining of the infection, the pain in his hand diminished immediately.
Stuart left the Zapper with the nurse practitioner, and came home. The next morning he returned to the dispensary. Both patients had slept through the night for the first time since they had been bitten. Both had hungrily eaten their break fasts.
Dongo reported that the pain in his stomach and back had greatly diminished, but that his leg still hurt. He was shocked again that morning, and then once more in the evening. That evening the pain was completely gone from his stomach, his back, and his leg, although some dwelling remained.
"The nurse practitioner was impressed. Many survivors of snakebite suffer effects from the venom for months or even years afterwards. "Twenty-four hours after the first shock, the only thing left to treat was the bacterial infection at the site of the bite itself," he said. "The effects of the venom had completely disappeared".
Note: When we purchased our Zapper at JAARS, we received a second one as a gift. A church had donated money to pay for Zappers for translators in settings like ours. Because of this, when Stuart left the dispensary that evening, he left the Zapper as a gift from Christians in America. Since then it has been used numerous times for snakebites, scorpion stings, and wasp stings. Our team has since supplied a third Zapper for Pastor Philippe, to whom people regularly come for treatment.