Wednesday 13th August
Life continues to be hard for the people out here. I met the hospital worker, whose house had been burnt down, last week. (he is still hoping that someone will help him rebuild his home). He had been in a road accident. Apparently he hitched a lift and was in a crash on the way back to Monze. He had broken his arm and lost a chunk out of his ear. The driver of the vehicle was killed. Another reminder just how hazardous it is to travel in this Country.
Today I met with Jennipher again. Selina had come for a review – she was worried that the doctor would make her go back to the ward and put her arm in traction again. In the event she was discharged and won't need to return. A few weeks ago Jennipher brought in someone who was pregnant and not at all well. She tested positive for HIV. Yesterday she was suffering pains and in the evening delivered a little girl but unfortunately the baby lived for only a very short period. Some local guys will make a small coffin so that the body can be buried properly. I read yesterday that, here in Zambia, for more than 1 in every 6 births the child dies before their 5th birthday.
Last week Jennipher attended a workshop to help her as a care worker. She will continue to do the work voluntarily, but she is expected to cover an area which stretches 30km from her home - hence her plea for a good bike. I have not been able to respond to the person who suggested some school children raise the money. I think it is a great idea – so if it is still on please let me know! It seems that the bike would cost about £100. (Some imported items are expensive here and the kwacha is relatively strong in respect of the pound)
The Maluba school is going up at an incredible speed. Yesterday a couple of volunteers with SAPEP joined the team for the morning. On Monday I will join the team on an outing with SAPEP when we will learn more about their work in trying to combat AIDS and see how they go about it in the villages. On Sunday evening we will join then for a 'Bush Camp'. I am very keen to understand a little more about how an NGO tackles HIV/AIDS, especially since I did a little work last year looking at the issue from the hospital's perspective.
I am currently busying myself at the hospital trying to resurrect the Stock Control system for the main stores and introducing it to the Pharmacy. My brain has been hurting trying to work out a way of keeping track of drug expiry dates. Lots of people must have cracked the problem before me but at the moment I am struggling! So if anyone out there can tell me how to do it using a Stock Control system in Access I would be very grateful!! I keep telling people that this really isn't my field of expertise.
It is amazing how I don't miss the TV here despite the Olympics being on! In fact I am glad that I haven't got easy access to one. Yet I am sure that as soon as I am back in the UK I will again be glued to it!
Bye for Now,