Today I returned to the camp to do some diaper distribution. Wow. Didn't realize how very badly this was needed. It's becoming a horrific situation there. It rained last night. A lot. So imagine all of these makeshift shanties made of sheets and tarps (occasionally) and tents (very INfrequently) being deluged with rain. The mud was several inches deep and stunk really bad. And remember, most of these don't have floors, or if they do, are generally made out of cardboard. So the whole place was just a mud pit. And there are hundreds of small kids just walking all around in it. Barefooted. Mostly without diapers. They just go to the bathroom when and wherever the urge comes on them. Which lately is very often, since there's a huge diarrhea outbreak in the camp right now. I know that I, personally, cannot solve this problem. But I did get to thinking that if I separated big boxes of diapers and wipes into smaller packets, I could walk around and hand some out. It won't solve the problem. It won't even come close truthfully, but it will help-- even if just a little bit. If there is a LITTLE less diarrhea mixed in with the mud, it's certainly not going to HURT anything.
Last week when I visited the refugee camp I met 2 little girls named Patricia. One of them I talked about last week. This is a pic I took last week of another little girl named Patricia.
She's about 6 months old and was clearly very ill. Her mom says she has a problem with near continual vomiting. It was obvious that she was very dehydrated. She had her face winced in pain but she didn't have the energy to cry. I told the mom that her baby was very sick and needed medical care. I begged her to bring the baby for some medical care and instructed her to continue breastfeeding as much as possible.
Today I stopped by to check on her and give her some diapers/wipes. The baby was still sick-- much sicker in fact. Heartbreaking. The baby was extremely dehydrated. She was non-responsive and hadn't cried in days. She was vomiting profusely and had bad diarrhea. She actually threw up all over me (twice) in the 2 minutes I was holding her. We decided to take her to the hospital and because of some great connections we have with a visiting team of doctors, were able to get her immediate medical care. The doctors got an IV put in and gave her some sugar and within minutes, Patricia started to rally. It was amazing to see. Amazing.
She was admitted to the hospital (now being run by Doctors Without Borders) and I am going to go check on her later today during the food distribution Danny's family is doing later today.
I LOVE MY JOB!