Bahai beach

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bahai Beach 63

Bahai Beach 63

Gorilla escapes

May 22, 2007

My o my some antibiotics need to be praised like anything. After hobbling around, complaining and being ill for 10 days today all of a sudden I am starting to feel energetic again. It must have helped the afternoon was spent napping but praise to Cefixime.

What also must have helped is the fact that due to meetings I stayed back in Bahai for two days. Two days spent to pour over the budgets with the donors (UNHCR) and ourselves to see if there is any more money to squeeze out of the budget or all money has been spend all ready. It seems we are good in spending money. In a way it is not surprising at all. Considering the act that Chad is land locked and Bahai is amongst the points in Africa furthest away from a coast/port it becomes logic that items like a bag of cement are 4 times more expensive than in the capital N’Djamena. Also given the minuteness of Bahai no technicians (read mechanic, plumber, electrician can be found in the village) and if the come they ask for the moon to come to end of the world. Eleven months ago I was pretty ambitious about building structures in the camp. The reality is slow it goes.

Amongst the headaches for us in the next months will be rupture of drugs. Then again given the long time it takes for items to be delivered in Chad it is as it is. Even in the capital basic drugs cannot always be bought in large quantities or are sold for exorbitant prices. Also there is the raining season or rather lack of rainy season to worry us. The lake like last year is getting empty and anxiously clouds are being hoped and perhaps prayed for. Then the president of the Republic is presently in the East to discuss with the rebels all kind of peace agreements. In lieu of that there is a massive increase in troops in and around Bahai.

In the camp in the mean time we are de-worming all children between 6 months and 5 years. Also we are giving them vitamin A. Roughly 3000 children are supposed to receive treatment in this campaign and the refugee public health team mainly does this exercise. Tomorrow I will be back in the camp. There will be a lot of small improvements over the next 2 weeks. We are constructing 7 examination couches and 7 cupboards. Also 15 washing points (small water containers) will be put in place so the nurses do not have to walk to wash their hands.

As I write this many of the protocols have been translated in Arabic and have been transformed in to poster so the staff can peep on them incase they forget the fine details of a treatment/diagnosis. Our laboratory is in full swing now, remains to find a refugee laboratory assistant so the services can be provided 6 days a week instead of three days.

Despite all constraints over the last 11 months they has been a clear improvement in quality and quantity of services. Our national staff team has increased in depth and strength and so have the refugees. Now with the health committee in place we hope that even on a management level the refugees can take over the services.

For all of you not living in the Netherlands. A 180-kilo Gorilla has escaped from his cage in a zoo in Rotterdam, leaving 4 people wounded. That in itself is sad. What surprises me is that it is still first page news 5 days after the event. Any way it is as it is. As the Beatles sang Let it be, let it be.



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