April 2015

A new clinic has opened up just meters from the school and Day Care Centre.  This is very handy as it allows us to take either the children and or the mothers to the clinic when required without the long journey we have had in previous years.  Registration is required which costs 7 birr about 25p, in true Ethiopian style the registration did involve 3 administration staff and several pieces of paper.  The grounds around the clinic resembled a building site with rubble and large holes everywhere.  We did feel that it was possible that you could go there with one ailment and leave with a sprained ankle as you attempted to tackle the uneven ground and mounds of rubble.

One morning a young lady from the Porridge Club came to the clinic with her daughter who was covered in weeping sores. The young lady had not come to the Day Care Centre for several days due to the condition of her daughter.  Concerned that this could be something serious and the possibility of further infection due to how the sores were attracting flies a decision was made to take her to the clinic.  A ‘modern’ clinic is alien to many of the poor as much faith is given to local customary practice so some persuasion is required to get people there. 

Despite the appearance of the clinic the very young staff were excellent.  The examination was very thorough and included checks of temperature, height and weight .The diagnosis was Impetigo, the treatment included cream for the rash, antibiotics and a bar of soap with a return trip to the clinic in 7 days.  Total cost including registration 51 birr about £1.75. 

A few days a later on a very hot morning we had two children and an elderly man requiring medical attention. Due to the success of the previous visit Mike felt that he could handle this on his own. Little did Mike realise but the phrase ‘herding cats’ will become all too apparent.  Early signs when registering the children and the elderly man should have set alarms bells ringing; three administration staff in three different places around the clinic, several pieces of paper, two children an elderly man, rubble and a language issue.  Added to this whilst queuing to register a young child, not one with Mike, had a serious bout of projectile vomiting covering all those in the queue.  Once registered a consultant was seen who then booked an appointment with a specialist in a particular room and that’s where ‘herding cats’ comes into play.  With the three appointments being in different rooms at different times then one of the appointments being moved to another room trying to round up two children and a slightly senile old man had its moments.   Relief came at 11.30 in the form of Angie and a bottle of water. The diagnoses were:  One child with a stomach infection, prescribed medication with a return visit. Second child had eczema mainly due to poor hygiene prescribed cream and a bar of soap.  The old man had a foot infection due to corns an appointment was made for the hospital to have corns removed. Total cost for all three 452 birr about £14.00.

For further information on the Bahir Dar Projects and how you can help please email Angela and Mike on khyber.king@btinternet.com

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