Bahai beach

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bahai Beach 39

Bahai Beach 39

The video-man.

25th January 2007.

Ever since our assistant public manager Ben Tamam has been given a video camera all events in the camp are filmed, interviews are given and shots are made left and right. I must have mentioned many times that the amongst the refugee population there are substantial number of eloquent, funny and passionate speakers. Let us see if some of our videos can be placed on line.

An old patient came back to the hospital. It is a young man with a knee the size of a football. Amongst the plausible causes are; tuberculosis of the bone, chronic infection of the bone, cancer of muscle/bone, fungal infection. It is doubtful that conventional treatment of this condition will be able to solve his problem. It is much more likely that his under leg needs to be amputated. A difficult choice but right now he does not have a functional use of his leg either since 6 years. Long discussions were held with him and his father and finally Dr Ponce managed to come to an agreement that the two of them will be dispatched to Abeche for a third opinion and a possible operation.

In the camp there are many special patients lining up also. They all have disease which can not be treated in a primary health care center and sometimes even not in a district hospital. Examples are children with cataract of the lens, hernia of the groin or a lady anemia due to vaginal bleeding.

The public health department is starting up a campaign against skin disease. For the next three days all school going children will be checked as to seeing if there are ringworm, warts, herpes, furunkels and other skin lesions. There will be special training for the community health workers to spread the health message needed and a training for the nurses about recognition and correct treatment of different skin problems.

On Sunday the good old Dutch game of ‘paaltjes voetbal’ . Picture 8 men running around the compound defending a little brick as there goal while attacking other peoples brick. Among lots of laughter and clouds of dust. Kings of Bahai soccer were found and the day passed rapidly.

Later that evening if became clear how much we rely on the generator on a day to day basis for our electricity. It started to disfuncition the last week with hick ups and last night was halted at 3 O’clock smoking and sputtering. Thanks to one our drivers who worked the filter and engine for several straight hours I can send you this e-mail tonight.. I must enjoying the silence of the generator not humming in the back ground is a good feeling.

It is a quiet time to ponder and reflect on the last near seven months. We have been living through some very trying times. In fact there is still always the threat of car theft or violence. Convoys rule the daily visits to the camp and still after more than two months our teams are not complete. Life is lived in a barbed wire compound and only since recent small walks are permitted. The food however hard our brilliant cooks try still consist of canned vegetables, small variety of meats and no fruits, milk or cheese.

It has been a demanding time. A lot of the things I set out to do have not been achieved. Even if the reasons are understandable the fact that small construction work, ordering of drugs, introduction of all kinds of systems has not been completed requires a lot of patience. Not something which comes easy to me

The next 5 months the first thing required is patience and security. If these two factors are available the deployment of a full team should be possible. Finally the motto would be ‘Let’s boogie!’



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