Bahai beach

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bahai Beach 44

Bahai Beach 44

Busy days

February 17th, 2007

For the last week both the Health Coordinator Sylvie as well as Dr Ponce are out of Bahai. It means that the responsibilities of their jobs come to be shared amongst the other members of the health staff.

Luckily the hospital has been calm for the last few days. Dr Ponce is in meetings with the Ministry of Health to assure the deployment of a doctor, an administrator, several nurses, a lab technician and a pharmacist. After all it is a Government District Hospital and to be honest it would be a shame if the equipment, the medication and the infrastructure cannot be utilized in the near future. Our Ngo has been trying to hand over the responsibility back to the authorities for quite some time now. Today I took the new head of office of UNHCR for a visit to the hospital and as he said compared to many other hospitals this was a well-organized place. With a functional operation theatre, a laboratory, a generator, a pharmacy and a new kitchen under construction.

A stroll in the market today and a guava drink made life very agreeable on Sunday. A nice sandy wind and a light sun made the temperature agreeable. And then there was the Saturday night film night. A silly Jennifer Lopez was so bad it became good again. More important hanging out at the UNHCR once in a while gives a different and pleasant perspective.

We are moving up our staff numbers to 27. Unfortunately we only have 2 vehicles and that does not make life easy for planning the programs. It means at times people have to stay back in the office because there is no place in the cars. And that indeed means the office is up and functional again. For those of you who have not seen try (ashisbrahma). After the massive rains in August 2006 and the increased security threats of November we have worked a lot from the compound. But with so many people around and a new logistician in place (Fikiri) our beloved office compound is back in full swing. It makes it easier in some ways to separate work from leisure. Read not being at work 24/7. Yet giving all the back log due to reduced access, reduced staffing we all need to work hard to improve again the services

The last months have no cakewalk. And the next few will not be either. The security situation has not improved much. It is hard to see that hoped for improvements in the health department have been delayed. Examples are planned constructions (on hold for 5 months), introduction of training programs, proper drug management systems, yet with the return of key staff I have the feeling we might see rapid improvement of several components of the program.

First and foremost as I wrote before in the reproductive health care department. It is where by the help of traditional birth attendants we can increase visits to the Maternity ward before and after delivery. But also supply supplementary feeding to breastfeeding and pregnant women. The hope is to prevent women from becoming anemic and malnourished and assuring the increase of the average birth weight of the children born in the camp.

It has been nearly 8 months since I am in Bahai. A holiday is looming soon and I am looking forward to that. Time to ponder on the route to be taken in the near future. Time to meet some old friends and family to reflect and discuss. Time to eat and meander, read and listen to music. Dance and travel freely without being locked up in a compound.
Time to breath in and out!

Until the next Bahai Beach



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Anonymous Susan said...

I so enjoy reading your blog. Happy to have discovered it through the community (as well as Gabriel & John Prendergast).

Really gives a deeper perspective of life in Chad. Refreshing to read the real deal. As bleak as the situation is there, it is also nice to read about the little day to day things; cheesy JLo films and sweet guava juice! :)

Thanks for sharing with the rest of the world.

I do hope you get that much deserved holiday soon! If you ever find yourself in California, there's a ton of good folks who would love to meet you (and offer up their hospitality/home for as long as you need it.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Ashis said...

Hi Susan,

I am going to finish my mission around July and am actually going to Canada, USA and Mexico for several months before taking on a next mission.

As I have friends & family in Los Angeles I will!

So Susan I do hope to meet you and your friends.

Sharing stories

Take care,


4:32 AM  

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