Bahai beach

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Bahai Beach 66

Bahai Beach 66

Car stolen

June 3, 2007

Yesterday for the first time in three weeks I pretended I was fit enough for a desert kick about. In front of Guantanamo 2 (the nickname of the national staff compound) there is a huge desert pitch with two goals. It was just a matter of putting on my sliver boots and rounding up the boys for a match. The number of participants fluctuates a lot. The game is started with small goals and about 10 people and end with huge goals and 22-26 people. Every Friday and Saturday UNHCR, ACTED, IRC, SOS join to forget and enjoy.

An event not likely to be forgotten is the theft of one of our Toyota Land cruisers. Car thefts seemed to be less common but well there you are. One car less to work with and most likely increased security measures when driving around. For me being on foot is seems a lesser risk.

Our massive truck has finally taken 39 boxes of medication for the hospital and the camp. Besides that there were mango, beer and other food items in the truck. And for other programs there were items as well in the truck.

In the camp little by little constructions are being completed. Materials are being put into place. This week the reproductive health department will get 5 boxes full of material for safe delivery and motherhood. Both a plumber and an electrician have come to Bahai. With our new 2 KVA generator finally deliveries at night do not have to be done under torchlight or worse without light. It is so hard to recruit for people who are willing to come to our Bahai Beach.

Next week we will have a campaign to inform future and present parents in the camp to utilize the maternal health care facility. What is done there and why it is so important will be explained in big meetings in the different zones. I think I mentioned before in the past about 40% of the deliveries took place in the maternity, but since 3 months numbers have been rising and this month the number was 89%. Having a safe pregnancy, delivery and aftercare is extremely important for mother and child health. When I came 11 months ago I can vividly remember the mother that came to the hospital on her own with a placenta blocking the exit of the child. She had come after hours of labor and just when an emergency airplane was arranged it was already too late. She had died. Not all death is preventable but I am quit sure the abnormality of the position of the baby and the bleeding during pregnancy would be noted, an echo would be done and early reference to a surgical unit would be arranged.

The supplementary feeding program seems to have several benefits. As said more mothers come for deliveries and check ups now. But the ulterior goal is a healthy pregnancy, with a healthy baby and mother. That seems to be the case. Over the last months the average weight of the babies seem to increase. which in it self will lead to less risk of early illness and death for the newborns.

The clinical health department is doing well as well. With Dr Remy in the camp as a supervisor and the two new nurses working in the health post and health center the quality of the consultations is going up. Finally monitoring of our Sudanese nurses can take place and (examination) bedside is frequent. Protocols are being used as they are now all getting translated into Arabic. The best indicator is that the last 23 days there have been no deaths in the camp.

In the laboratory we have found an assistant to our lab technician so the laboratory is now manned 6 days a week and with the generator in the camp the light microscope works as well. An example of the increased capacity of the lab is the discovery through Widal testing that out of the tens of fever of unknown origin there are actually cases of Typhoid fever in the camp.

The public health department can then follow this up by house visits and mapping of the cases to see if we have clusters. Also health messages are sent to the community to come to the health center/post when there is a display of certain symptoms. I was happy to give a session for the community health workers on typhoid fever and the public health risks and measures to take. Next week we are focusing on prevention and treatment of cholera. Cholera from a public health perspective is a bigger challenge given the nature of the camp; high density of population, hygienic and sanitary practices, flies, slaughtering of animals and the cohabitation of tens of thousands of animals in the camp. Animals roaming around free are picturesque but also a health hazard.



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