Bahai beach

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bahai Beach 4

Bahai Beach 4

The Libyans are the main suppliers of goods in the souk (market). They travel in huge Mercedes Benz trucks convoys loaded so full that they are twice as broad as usual. You rarely meet more friendly people. In a mixture of French, English, Arabic and Hindi We exchange stories and share foods and teas in copious amounts. One can not leave without having a full belly. The bring to this isolated community: clothes (buying a FZ Barzalona Shirt), food items, but also satellites, television and other goodies. The souk provides opportunities to starta proper chicken farm in the compound. Need to haggle hard because as a khawadja (white man) the price for items is twice the local price. Also me being a leading expert on chicken they may sell me infertile, blind or mentally retarded chicken defeating my vision of an egg emporium in Chad with little outlets all over the country. If this plan is succesful however the camel breeding project is second on my list.
Water is becoming a major issue. Although it has rained it is not yet in the amounts we long for. Trucking is our second options from a dam about 10 kilometers from the camp. This body of water should suffice for about 3 months. In any scenario it needs to rain across the border in Sudan so with the gravity and aquifers it can fill up our Lake Cassoni and I can have a massive swimming pool to my disposition. Sancho Yoda, our midget logisticians is back in the project and we spend our nights exchanging list of most senseless movies- innuendo – mischief and other projects two 35 year old with the mindset of a 12 year would engage in. And new staff is about to be rolled in the project a new health coordinator and a member of the emergency response team. Charles (ERT) is here to reduce staff numbers in the health departments and work out a proper memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health Hospital at Bahai. And Sylvie will be here to coordinate the different departments: Reproductive, Clinical, Public and Hospital Health. I hear we are recruiting for a Hospital Manager as well. Let us wait and see what time brings us.
The most impressive story of this week was the prolonged labor and delivery of a child in the maternity ward in the camp. After an episiotomy (cut) and lots and lots of help the mother managed to push out a baby boy. No cry, no heartbeat, floppy, bluish immediately neonatal resussitation was started but after 15 minutes of mouth to nose mouth breathing, medication and heart massage the baby boy had to be declared as a stillborn. On seeing the sadness in my eyes the traditional birth attendants responded in a touching way. Dr Ashis do not worry, the mother is still alive and inshallah she will deliver again in a years time. No need to further express the survival mechanisms the Sudanese people in the camp are used to. Another boy took some traditional medicine or improperly prescribed drugs in the camp and developed a severe fixed drug skin eruption. He had blisters all over his body. Yet after nursing him properly he is improving day by day. As in all countries I have worked in the danger of HIV/AIDS is eminent. In our wards are two patients who have all the signs and symptoms of this lethal disease. The MoH hospital is understaffed however. The doctor is on a sick leave/strike/holiday and the lab technician has left them as well. And well we are at the end of the world in semi dessert how can you blame them ? I am getting to know the health staff better and better and overall I am very happy about their motivation and skills sets. They love teaching session and traditional birth attendants, nurses and community health workers each have 2 sessions a week on those topics that are relevant given the season or because they are basic skills for their work. Last week we discussed malaria, malaria in pregnancy, diarrhoea and prevention thereof. Also we have started a bed net distribution program for pregnant women and intermittent treatment of all pregnant women with an anti malarial drug in the second and third trimester. Malaria cases are expected to shoot up in the next two weeks. Every week a new challenge is up so the learning curve is still steep and is what I like. The final words for this week will be that although we have a total rupture of vaccines since 1 week, a case of acute flaccid paralysis is in the camp (possibly polio), incentives for the 96 health staff need be prepared, drug order for hospital and health centre are being arranged, weekly and monthly reports are due, rupture of water delivery may be on the way and many many more things going to the Oure Cassoni camp six days a week is like filling up my tank brimfull of asha (hope) and energy for the next weeks and months to come.



Thank you for all you for writing your tidings I really enjoy it.

For those of you who wish to see some pictures: try and search for polio or ashis_brahma.

In due time a myspace photolog will bein place as well. But having difficulty uploading pictures there.

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