Sunday, May 20, 2007

In case you wondered…

Thunder sounds exactly like a low-flying MiG. I’d forgotten that. I’d forgotten about the apocalyptic downpours of the rainy season in Darfur until a rain storm came early last night. I say early because I am insistent that the rainy season is not yet upon us. I am insistent that the rainy season is not yet upon us because I need meningitis vaccinations and a lot of them.

Meningitis, because I know you’re interested, comes in different strains. And, unless someone is willing to shell out the big bucks for the vaccine that covers all strains – which we are for aid workers but aren’t for IDPs – then there’s no way to stop an outbreak of the disease without getting it typed. In order to get it typed you need to send it to the Ministry of Health in Khartoum. Now, the MoH maintains that the slower they work the better job they’re doing (not unlike some UN agencies that shall remain nameless) – no matter that we’re talking about life and death issues like outbreaks in IDP camps.

In order to not spread the meningitis we have had to stop all our health promotion clubs. Thousands of people gathering together when you have the outbreak of a highly contagious disease is simply a bad idea. Exposing your staff to a highly contagious disease is also a bad idea.

It came to my attention that the World Health Organization was in possession of a large number of the expensive sort of vaccination. I thought this was good news. We want to vaccinate all of our health promotion staff since the vaccine takes two weeks to go into effect, they would need to be involved in the vaccination of IDPs, and they also need to be getting ready for the expected outbreaks of Acute Watery Diorrhea (better known as Cholera) that the rains bring with them.

I went to a Watsan meeting wherein WHO asked us why we weren’t using our clubs to spread AWD messages.

‘Ummm,’ I said. ‘Because we’re waiting for meningitis typing and vaccines so that we can reconvene them.’

‘Well,’ WHO said. ‘We’re sending the vaccines back to Khartoum because the rains are going to come soon and the meningitis outbreak will end.’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘But when the rains come cholera outbreaks start. You need the clubs to spread health messages about cholera but we can’t conduct the clubs prior to the AWD season because of the meningitis outbreak. Can we not get the vaccines now and vaccinate as many people as we can?’

‘The vaccines are being sent to Khartoum and the rains are coming.’

‘I understand that. Perhaps I should come by your office and we can sit down and discuss this some more,’ I said. What I didn’t say is that if I carry on with this circular conversation my head would have exploded!

Is it just me or has the world gone crazy? Are you and I the only sane ones left?

1 comment:

Josh said...

Don't lump me in with your elitist group of sane people just because I read your blogs. I reserve the right to be as crazy as I want and to be labeled as such.