We really have no word quite like Mzee (prounounced Muh-zay) in English..but my patient is a Mzee. The word has many meanings including old man, elder male, respected leader, dignified, chief, grand-father, and ancestor; but I think the picture describes a Mzee better than words can. This Mzee had lived with a dental infection that progressed into a localized abscess and then a draining fistula our of his beard since August. I'll never know whether money, travel, misunderstanding, or denial prohibited him from visiting us for so long. The smell pretty much matched the sight and I can't imagine living this way for so many months.
Sara and I both fight pus quite frequently in our professions here at Kijabe. Sometimes it seems like pus is ubiquitous and that we do not always win the battle. Of course many treatment options exist. You can prescribe antibiotics and hope the pus is eliminated. You can directly incise the abscess and drain the pus. You can aspirate the pus using a needle and syringe. You can washout the pus with the liquid of your choice. Lastly, and probably the best treatment if possible is to remove the source of infection (usually for myself a tooth, for Sara a uterus, ovary, ectopic pregnancy, etc.) the necrotic tissue.
Sometimes, in the case of the Mzee we try everything including antibiotics, aspiration, incision and drainage, irrigation with Chlorohexidine and removing the diseased teeth and hope and pray it resolves.