African Missionary Healthcare Worker Case Study

African Missionary Healthcare Worker Case Study

Question 1

Mastication-chewing and swallowing of food that occurs in the mouth African Missionary Healthcare Worker Case Study

Peristalsis-propulsion of food from the mouth to the stomach occurs in the esophagus

Digestion and absorption- occurs in the stomach where food mixes with gastric juices

Segmentation- absorption of food which occurs in the small intestines

Defecation-undigested materials are excreted from the body as feces

Question 2

The coastal African village that Jenny visited to do missionary work was less developed and members not only had poor sanitation but also no refrigeration. Therefore, due to the lack of safe and proper resources to store and handle food, the risks of contamination were very high.  Similarly, the signs and symptoms that the child presented with were very similar to those Jenny experienced in college following a case of food poisoning.

Question 3

Patients with vomiting and diarrhea become dehydrated and lose a lot of electrolytes. Therefore, electrolyte solutions containing glucose are administered to correct electrolyte imbalance since glucose increases the absorption of sodium to ensure the maintenance of an osmotic balance between the intestinal tissue and fluids in the bowel thus preventing any additional complications that may result from dehydration (Anigilaje, 2018). Similarly, since the patient was unable to eat, an electrolyte containing glucose provided an alternative energy source to promote cellular metabolism.


Question 4

An increased respiratory and pulse rate with decreased blood pressure is common in dehydrated patients. Vomiting and diarrhea influenced the depletion of the child’s body fluids resulting in a significant blood pressure drop. The immediate compensatory mechanism that occurs is an increase in the respiratory and pulse rate (Radlović et al., 2015).African Missionary Healthcare Worker Case Study

Question 5

Since the children experienced diarrhea and vomiting that led to the depletion of body fluids, they lost a lot of bicarbonates in stool and had excessive ketone production following starvation (Chogle et al., 2016). The perfusion of tissues was also reduced increasing the production of lactic acid which resulted in metabolic acidosis.

Question 6

Muscle cramping and excessive thirst were symptoms of potassium deficiency following electrolyte loss due to excessive vomiting, diarrhea, and starvation.

Question 7

The cholera toxin usually prevents the creation of a sodium gradient in the sodium active transport which is essential for transporting glucose from the lumen to the epithelial cells. The inability to absorb glucose leads to high levels of glucose than normal in the lumen with an increased osmotic potential (Gurney et al., 2017). As a result, the absorption of fluids in the intestines is decreased, resulting in diarrhea. Similarly, the inability to absorb glucose tends to limit the sources of energy available for cellular metabolism. This increases the production of lactic acid giving rise to metabolic acidosis.


Anigilaje, E. A. (2018). Management of diarrhoeal dehydration in childhood: A review for clinicians in developing countries. Frontiers in pediatrics6, 28.

Chogle, A., Velasco-Benitez, C. A., Koppen, I. J., Moreno, J. E., Hernández, C. R. R., & Saps, M. (2016). A population-based study on the epidemiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders in young children. The Journal of pediatrics179, 139-143.

Gurney, M. A., Laubitz, D., Ghishan, F. K., & Kiela, P. R. (2017). Pathophysiology of intestinal Na+/H+ exchange. Cellular and molecular gastroenterology and hepatology3(1), 27-40.

Radlović, N., Leković, Z., Vuletić, B., Radlović, V., & Simić, D. (2015). Acute diarrhea in children. Srp Arh Celok Lek143(11-12), 755-762. African Missionary Healthcare Worker Case Study


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