Bahai beach

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bahai Beach 11

Bahai Beach 11

Pigeon soup

Hassan one of my favourite drivers today showed me the nest of two fledging pigeons growing to adulthood on top of my room. He told me this in complete confidentiality and then he informed me Wednesday he will make lovely pigeon soup. I guess I shall accept his invitation to dinner. Five hawks are semi settled near our compound eating our scraps and awaiting the little chicklets to pop out of the egg. .I have not found a defense mechanism yet to ward of these predators. There is a plan to construct an irrigated vegetable field so we do not become vitamin deficient. Slowly our team is coming back to full strength. Alphonse the education manager has come, Dominique the gender based violence manager will come next week and so will Dr Pounce, who shall work in the hospital. Temesgen the Evironmental Coordinator is leaving early and our Field Coordinator Giorgio will leave as well.
My last few days I spent in both the capital N Djamena as well as Abeche (regional capital). In N Djamena I found a bar where a Morgan Freeman look a like plays the guitar and with his band African Jazz is played all night. Dancing in the local clubs is like entering a military zone. All French conscripts passing there weekend. In the hospital in the mean time our patient with breast cancer is awaiting breast amputation and the young boy kicked by a camel has a well healed wound and stump. Now he needs to find a good orthesis to help him walk again. In Abeche our patient with a liver abces was fine and I was so happy to see him return to his family in good health again. His parents and brother were beaming with joy.
In the camp in the mean time a drama is taking place. A sixteen days old boy whose mother died after child birth is not doing well at all. The family however cruel it sounds is directing it towards infanticide. I pray tomorrow the local leaders or imam can interfere because this is unacceptable. I wish but I fear tonight death will strike. The boy was already in a coma and severely dehydrated. The good news is that our health clinics are getting more and more visitors. We hope the people in the camp feel the services are improving. More transfers to the hospital (24 last month) but today even 5 patients were taken. We refer roughly one patient a week for surgery/obstetrics/severe illness to the regional hospital. Also we have a labtechnician who is doing good work so that helps us in making the correct diagnosis and provide the right treatment.
News flash of the day; UNHCR is preparing for 15000 people to come to our camp in the next 1-4 weeks. A fourth zone will be opened. And we need to hire exgtra staff, stock up medication, prepare water, latrines, do health screenings etcetera. It seems the stories will never end here. Also the security situation is not getting any better. We have one convoy to and from the camp a day. Our vehicles are locked in the UNHCR compound. We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
Somehow my batteries were empty the last two weeks. But as I stated reinforcements have arrived. And I can focus on my own two jobs; clinical and public health in the camp. There is also the next Rest and `Recreation I am looking forward to. Let us not hope it coincides with the major influx of Sudanese refugees who are expected to cross the border by foot with nothing yet again. And so while big words are spoken in New York the reality of the day is unchanged for the inhabitants of Darfur.
Let us start to careā€¦


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