"I'm writing from Brussels Airport. A little tired after long flight, anxious to get home. And, I have to admit, a little nervous about how to react when I get home, how the acclimatisation process will be. Everyone I talked to says the same thing: the hardest thing about being on an assignment with MSF is going home..."
Alexander is a doctor from Sweden. He's currently working for MSF / Doctors Without Borders in the Central African Republic, a country where the health system has been badly affected by years of armed violence. Today, we meet some of his patients from the children's ward...
"Issufai had had fever for three days and had had several seizures, but eventually the family took him to the health centre, which then sent him to the hospital with MSF transport. The test for malaria was positive and Issfai’s fever was over 40 degrees. One hour after the seizure stopped, he lay still on the bed with his eyes open and blank."
"I am going to tell you a little about Fatumata, a three-year-old girl who was hospitalised. She was severely undernourished and mostly skin and bones. But that was not the reason her grandmother and mother brought her to hospital. They brought her because of the fever and respiratory distress that the traditional medicine they tried first didn’t take away."
Ludvig has recently completed an assignment as part of MSF's emergency team in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He's shared his diary with us. This post was written six weeks after arriving in Bolomba, a remote area where Ludvig and the team have been fighting a dangerous measles epidemic.
"It’s a childbirth complication: the woman is 20 years old, 37 weeks pregnant, and the baby is on its way. But the position of the child is 'breached' and the woman has been in labour for a while. Her cervix is fully dilated at 10 cm, but the baby has not emerged."