It has been a busy couple of days for me, juggling caring for Jaba with trying to get some work done, dressing Abdi’s foot and providing an evening of entertainment and nourishment for the boys.
Firstly, Jaba is getting a bit better. He’s not so pyrexic but he does still have quite a nasty cough – so much so that he managed to vomit all his feed and antibiotics up yesterday evening and so I had to give it by injection into his bottom. He really didn’t like that but now that his venflon is out, he has to have the incredibly bitter tasting antibiotics orally. I mix the syrup with a drop of Vimto to try and disguise the taste but it’s still pretty foul tasting. They don’t have any nice tasting paediatric medicines here; actually, I was pleased that we were even able to get hold of antibiotic syrup at all. Despite the taste, Jaba just about manages to swallow his medicine that I syringe into his mouth and hopefully, his chest will start to improve very soon.
Abdi’s foot is improving and seems to have drained a vast amount of pus. Mind you, the entire foot looks terrible. I think he may have some kind of fungal infection and so painted some anti-fungal stuff on it. We’ve also given him some antibiotics to take, although I’m not sure how regularly he takes them. Anyway, he at least, looks happier and isn’t limping so much. I’ll check it again tomorrow and perhaps give it a good soak again. I’ve told him to keep it clean but guess this isn’t particularly easy for him to do given that they don’t have any running water at the house he lives in and that he spends most of the time walking from one dusty place to another.
After enjoying a pasta Bolognese supper last night the boys had a fantastic evening watching Shrek. It was amusing to see which bits they understood and found funny – they loved the ginger bread man with the broken off leg and a walking stick, for example, and thought that the ring fight between Shrek and Prince Farquhar’s army was hilarious. I haven’t seen them enjoy a film so much. They went home with full tummies and very happy. They are coming on Sunday to help us set up the finish line and reception for the MW bike riders, who will arrive in Gimbie having cycled from Addis over the past 7 days. I have to say; rather them than me. It’s a very hilly cycle ride. Anyway, Abdi has coloured some paper plates for me, which spell out ‘Finish’ and ‘Welcome to Gimbie’ and so we need to somehow fix this at the hospital gate, where we will have a table containing orange squash and water for the thirsty cyclists. I was also gong to cut up some oranges but I can’t find any to buy and the orange squash is made from a powder as this was all I could get – actually tastes OK.
This morning I had to sort out some clothes and a blanket for a little baby boy who has just been abandoned at the hospital. His mother (presumably single) is the allegedly 18 but probably, 15 year old that I mentioned a couple of blogs ago. She came into hospital having been in labour for a couple of days at home. When she arrived here she had an emergency caesarean section and initially appeared to be doing well. Sadly, she became unwell over the past few days, lost consciousness and tragically died this morning. She was probably septic following the prolonged labour and then having had a C/section, the infection became overwhelming. Her family are clearly devastated, not least of all because this was their last surviving child – they had two more children who died, although I am not sure what they died from and they are caring for 2 grandchildren from these deceased children. So I guess it’s not surprising that the fled from the hospital in a state of despair. They may come back for the baby once they have had time to adjust. We shall have to wait and see. A very sad story about yet another preventable death. I am doing quite a bit of work for my project in Ganji, the area that she came from and so I hope that we can change the attitudes and knowledge of pregnant women in this region and reduce the chances of this happening to others.