Back to Hamey
We are now down to two people and two possible places to go for medical relief with the third possible place being Kokar. Because at the end of our disorganized one-hour clinic there last week, someone threw stones and dust at Jim, WC wanted to discuss with the elders to mend fences and to make sure such incident does not recur. It turned out that it was a woman who threw the stones and something would be done only if it was a man who committed the act. Apparently the elders came to the compound today and promised that things would be different and to give the pilots time to determine the whereabouts of Kokar, we will head towards Kokar tomorrow but back to Hamey we went this morning.
Since we have been flying almost daily, I joked to the pilot that we should be upgraded to the premier class. To which he replied that in a little while the steward would be by to serve us drinks but that we had to excuse him for not shaving this morning.
By the time we arrived, the Community healthcare workers had seen a total of 40 patients. The day was rather hot but they have now learned to open the flaps of the tent allowing an occasional breeze to come through. Aden was again my translator. He is the oldest of nine children,father and mother in their forties. I saw close to 50 patients but towards the end many of the people who were seen this morning by the community healthcare workers came again.
The sickest patient wearing a belt with the name "Obama" embroidered on it came on a donkey cart. He lay prostrated on a UNHCR blanket brought by the family. He had a high fever and was dehydrated. Rumors had it that he had been treated with 5 days of penicillin and gentamicin and still felt unwell. For the last two days he began to have bloody diarrhea. We decided that he might have typhoid fever and gave him an injection of antipyretics, ceftriaxone and oral rehydration fluids which he was able to take about 250 ml. At the end of clinic, his fever came down and he was able to walk home. We were not able to find the box of ciprofloxacin or azithromycin and he will have to return for more injection of ceftriaxone.
There were other patients, children who had fever and were moderately dehydrated. It was hot and the confounding head scarf got in the way of my stethoscope and so eventually I let it slip down my head. I did not think the villagers cared.
With the rainy season the frogs have been honking all night and I presume they have been doing so since the rain started, it just that the loudness of the generator obscures their noises. When I get up in the middle of the night to see the stars I hear them very clearly. By then the generator has long since been silenced. I also notice that there are two calls to prayer, one at 4 am and the other at 5 am. Sleep is not easy then and the donkeys seem to hee-haw desperately during the early morning hours.
On Sundays some of us went to church at the Dadaab International Worship Center, not a very attractive name. The church is a small long concrete hall and around a hundred people were present. They are a very rowdy English-speaking group, the Swahili service follows suit. Unlike the Muslims their attire is more modern, no long skirts, long sleeves or head scarves. In fact they walk into the town of Dadaab dressed as they are for church. World Concern chooses the more conservative attire in order to win the people (Somalis from Kenya and Somalia who tend to be conservative in dressing) that they are helping over to their side.
There is a large pool of water just right outside the compound which I was told some local children had used as a swimming pool. There are two hotels on each side of the compound, one of them is called the New Alzazeera Hotel. Dadaab town is rather small and we took a walk down its main street. With all the hype concerning dressings I personally feel quite conspicuous and uncomfortable.