Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sanitation, Hygiene, and Medical Care

As the land for the child friendly spaces is being cleared and tents being built to shade children from the sun, we are busy recruiting and vetting possible animators that are going to be the ones working with the children day in and day out. We have come up with a short list and will be starting to train the teachers and officially register children in the coming days.

We also have doctors here that have set up an ad-hoc mobile clinic and have been able to address some primary health concerns. It has greatly assisted us to integrate into the community since they are grateful that there is an organization present and providing tangible assistance. However, the conditions related to sanitation and hygiene in the settlement continues to be atrocious as the people here have basically settled on a garbage dump that has trash all over.

The doctors here are seeing both chronic and acute illnesses, including acute respiratory infections. There are also people coming forward with wounds related to earthquake, although at this point many of the severe injuries and people needing amputations and other life-saving trauma care been attended to.

In our settlement, in particular, there are many women presenting with concerns such as vaginal infections and I can’t help but think this is related to the poor bathing situations, the lack of showers generally but then also the dirty water they are using. We are desperately trying to get hygiene and other kits to hand out to the population… but they are hard to come by since the demand is so high and there is movement towards making them locally due to the logistics involved with bringing them in from the outside.

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