Bahai beach

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bahai Beach 41

Bahai Beach 41

Sun is shining


He was standing in a round mud hut. His leg tied to the wall. On the floor lies a bowl with the remains of a meal. A snotty nose but there was a smile on his face. While I squeezed into the minute room he looked up to me and put the free dangling stethoscope in his mouth. The boy was seven years old and could not speak a word. As his mother explained he got lost during the attack of the janjaweed on their village. Our friend got separated from his family and was found back after a day.

Ever since he has not talked.

I wondered looking into his dark brown eyes what would be going on in his mind. To be tied to the wall and having very few ways to express yourself. What had he gone through and what is going through today.

There is a NGO called SOS-Kinderdorp run by Jolanda in the camp focusing on psychosocial care. Whenever I feel less happy I go their center to watch children have therapeutic playing session. Surely he should be on the list for playing therapy and his family should receive support as well to help them out.

And then on Monday a 15 month boy was presented with an acute flaccid paralysis of his left arm. In medical terms that can mean many things but in a refugee setting in Chad one has to consider poliomyelitis. If that is the case mass vaccination campaigns need to be rolled out. But we are not there yet. It can be a host of other reasons. The boy was not so lucky in many aspects. At 15 months he still could not sit up, walk, talk. It seem she is partially blind. It looks like he has a heart rhythm problem. In all milestones of development he is behind. His young father and mother care for him passionately.

Bold heads, or patchy loss of hair. Many children in the camp were found to be suffering from a fungal infection. This will involve a major operation to treat all these children (estimate 3000) for the duration of 1 month at least. Such a large quantity of drugs we do not have in stock so I t needs to be bought locally. Chad being Chad (in other words landlocked) it is proving to be an expensive exercise.

The health team has been growing rapidly over the last month. A new doctor, Remi a mid wife Melel, two nurses coming in 2 weeks, a new expatriate midwife coming in March and the lab technician has been around for at least a month. In the hospital more or less the same story despite the absence of the Ministry of Health Staff our midwife, pharmacist, 2 nurses have returned. Finally it feels like there can be improvement again in the program. Giving time to reflect, plan ahead instead of panting all day and doing crisis management day in day out.

Today I spent explaining the new staff the principles of IRC. I managed to do one verbal autopsy of the death of a four-day-old baby and to visit the Health Post. This last visit was clearly due. We found a dirty Health Post, with examination rooms doubling as storage rooms. And to top it all of for the first time in 3 months we had a weekly regular meeting with the health staff.

The outbreak of skin disease is a serious concern and we are still scrambling to buy enough medication.

Well as I gaze at the moonlit night I wish you all a beautiful day.



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Anonymous Marilyn said...

You sound so calm in your writing the face of such overwhelming conditions and odds. Holding good thoughts that you'll get the medications needed.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Ashis said...


thank you,

there is a belief on my side that things will be allright. Even despite the events of today. ReAD bahai beach 42

7:30 PM  

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