November 25, 2013

I have never seen the hospital so busy with malaria patients!

Life Award 2013

November 2013

Friday 1st November 2013
Nick, Richard, Kath (accountant / secretary) and Anita meet at Gatwick airport at 7am joined by the former British High Commissioner Phil Sinkinson OBE, now Patron to BHA. Their plane took off an hour later than scheduled. Nick did a great job of calming down what could have been a very difficult situation after a passenger had downed half a bottle of whisky before 10.30am, not the best start but Nick took it in his stride.

CEO Baba Jeng was at the airport to welcome the team in to the late afternoon sunshine, temperatures were around 32 Celsius and very humid.

Their plans to do a recce around all the builders merchants were scuppered the following morning ………… it was the monthly cleansing day!!!!!!!!!!!

One morning every month, no vehicles are allowed on the roads throughout the entire country (except emergency vehicles) and EVERYONE has to clean their environment, can’t see that happening in UK, it’s a great initiative and it works. The team finally set off in the afternoon unsure if the builders merchants would be open due to the cleansing day.

No worries, Nick was on the case like a greyhound after a rabbit, not hesitating to knock down the prices.

Trailing behind the CEO, Procurement Officer and 2 accountants one from the hospital and Richard from BHA. Nick was impressed with the materials available, with one exception; the showers, Nick will be supplying and sourcing impact showers like the ones that have been installed in the Children’s Unit, this will add an additional 30 Kilos to the weight in January!

An interesting and satisfying afternoon knowing that quality materials are now available in country.

They thought the exchange rate of the local currency would work in their favour at 60 Dalasis to the £1 but all the prices had been increased to match. Sadly for local people the wages do not reflect this and life is becoming increasingly hard, especially in-land where the hospital is based. A sack of rice is costing more than a month’s wages.

They arrived in Bansang late Sunday afternoon.

“I have never seen the hospital so busy with malaria patients.”

Work commenced early Monday morning negotiating their way around the many patients waiting to be seen in out-patients, queuing patiently for prescriptions as yet more horse carts arrive with sick people.

As a team they looked at all the projects thoroughly, this took most of the day with distractions and other work pending. A unanimous decision was made to start renovation works in the administration block/PNO’s Office and Duty room first. These areas are less affected by the huge number of patients seeking help as all the beds are presently occupied and would mean a great deal of disruption.

Nick is very happy with the two plumbers, one of whom is sponsored by BHA. The following day Nick arranged a health and safety session showing them how to use some of the new tools that he has supplied.

The Honourable Minister of Health Omar Sey was on a trek in the Upper River region, it was to their advantage that he stayed at the MITIE House at BH for 3 nights and Anita had the time to explain all about the BPEC projects.

He is so delighted that BPEC are supporting BH so generously and has pledged his support by promising a skilled plumber from the coast who will be sent to assist and also put in further training for our two men for a month, this initiative is greatly appreciated and will enhance their skills.

“My sincere thanks to all at BPEC, the team are enthusiastic and greatly encouraged by your support.”

See a full collection of images from the Bansang Hospital here