Tarime, October 2011
Bisarwi Community was hot & dry with the same story of no water again. It is so confronting seeing all those people with no water, and no means of changing the situation. The women and children walking 16 kms daily with their 20 L empty cans on their heads is a constant commitment to daily life. I asked to see the main water supply from the school, but I didn’t have the time to walk the 16 kms needed to view the water supply. The health clinic was challenging because we see so many people with water related diseases, or mainly lack of water. At least we are working towards alleviating their current situation with the wells, pending on the Aus Aid grant.
We have been worming all the kids at the community schools. Our health clinics run along side the worming clinics. It is so good being able to take a doctor with us. Dr Selena Sayako (Billie) and Jane James have been doing the community runs with RN Alisha Butterworth, Lucy Allwright, Monique Artis and myself. Dr Billie operated at the Surubu Community the other day to remove a huge imbedded thorn with my eye brow tweezers. Lucy & Monique have slipped into the job of worming the children. We have been really productive with the clinics.
Kiterere was a bit of a nightmare for the crew that went out!! Abdullah & myself were unfortunately tied up with other business with CfA, so man power was limited and the community need was overwhelming. The crew left after a hugely exhausting day & not completing their mission. We plan to head back for another whole day. These people are too poor to be able to afford access to health care, as well as associated costs, so the demand, both physically & emotionally is often overwhelming for our volunteers.
It is an absolute delight to work in the Surubu community, where we have installed the well. The people are so well and the children attend school. Their beautiful brown eyes sparkle, their skin glistens in the warm African sun & they are all eternally grateful for the safe clean water we have given them. The sounds the hand pump going up & down with the women pumping the well & a steady stream of crystal clear water is the greatest gift I can receive whilst working here.
Teachers, Monique & Lucy have spent 3 full days teaching at Surubu, this has been so invaluable to us, as well as the children. David Morrell, with interpreter Dickson Barasele,has been teaching in the Surubu class rooms when he has free time from developing his bee keeping industry.
David is nearing completion of the bee keeping enterprise, which means he will now focus on environmental education program, per Allison Bassano’s guidelines at 4 secondary schools.
Dr Winani’s hospital is a palace, compared with the government hosp. The other evening we had a laboring mum in TGWF hospital, the bub stuck & only limited time to get the bub out to sustain life. Dr Winani was 4 hrs away, so we had no choice but to take the mum to the government hospital. Only to be informed that the hospital had no surgical blade to perform the procedure. Luckily, I had one in our medical kit, so a female doctor from the hospital was called in to perform a C-section. It took several hours for her to arrive!!!! Dr Jane & myself spent hours caring the laboring mum, waiting for theatre in the hot, dirty, mosquito infested hospital with no resources, not even a wet cloth to wipe the mum’s brow. No pain relief was available; the trolley was smeared with fecal matter, no nurse or medical personnel to be with the mum, people remained oblivious to the situation. Unfortunately, time slipped away for the struggling bub & the bub ended up dying, because everything moved so slowly. Post operatively to keep the mum alive; free from infection she needed IV antibiotics. The hospital only had benzyl penicillin; this would not be enough from preventing a fatal abdominal infection. I was able to purchase the necessary IV antibiotics from a pharmacy, give instructions to the nurses to administer them. It is a miracle the mum is still alive; we visit her daily and organize her medical treatment. It is so difficult because we must respect their home, and not invade our principals on them and leave to only return every now & then.
On a lighter note, I saw the land yesterday, it is awesome, everyone loves the plot, and it is perfect. Rohan is doing an amazing job with early developments of the centre. Yesterday a crew of 10 locals worked with Rohan & Abdullah digging the foundations out with shovels. I dug 3 wheel barrows loads of dirt, whilst Dr Billie carted them away!!