Sunday, December 16, 2012

The journey to a diagnosis

The Welbodi Partnership continues to raise funds to establish a functioning xray department at the Ola During Children's Hospital (ODCH). Currently, very sick children must travel miles across Freetown – through traffic and crowds and the overwhelming hustle-and-bustle of this busy urban area – just to get an x-ray to diagnose their condition.

Dr. Anne Nesbitt, a Welbodi volunteer, recently made the trip across town  to get an x-ray with young Alhaji and his mother (seen in picture above). The trek across town left Alhaji feeling even more unwell than he was before, and it took him several days to recover. We would like to share their story in order to show the importance of this project and how with your help, we can make a difference.

"18-month-old Alhaji has septic arthritis of his shoulder. We had no option but to walk with Alhaji being carried on the back of his mum to Connaught Hospital, several obstacle-strewn miles across Freetown. Within 50 yards of ODCH, my phone was stolen. Half-way along Fourah Bay Road, Alhaji's mum's flip flops broke, so we had to buy new ones before we could continue. We negotiated the mayhem of Sani Abacha Street and finally got a taxi the last half mile to Connaught.
On the way back, no taxi would agree to take us to the East End, so we trekked back through short cuts. At one point, traffic was heavy on Sani Abacha, and our leap to avoid a lorry resulted in the demolition of a stack of margarine cartons and a stiff lecture (to me) from the market ladies. The journey back took an hour."

On a regular basis, families with children much sicker than Alhaji make this journey for x-rays, taxing their already weakened bodies and causing dangerous delays in diagnosis and treatment. This is clearly untenable, and the sooner we can minimise these trips with an in-house ODCH x-ray service, the better.

Can you give a little toward this effort?

No comments:

Post a Comment