The danger the rain brings

In my second audio diary I talk you through a ward round and discuss the repercussions of a heavy rainstorm.

In my second audio diary I talk you through a ward round and discuss the repercussions of a heavy rainstorm.


So, we are just on our ward round here. I am pestering Eva who is the French doctor.

Ward round is about 40 to 60 kids of various different illness, most of which will be malaria. Ward round takes about seven or eight hours and it’s pretty hot and tiring and... pretty noisy.

The ward round is split up into the malnutrition cases, intensive care, neonatal area and then the kids who are more stable.

There’s a pretty quick turnover of kids, we try and get out as many as we can, so that we can fill up the beds again during the night.

As you can probably hear, most of the kids are not very happy with us, and hold us personally responsible for the needles that come their way. 

So, I should probably get on with it otherwise we will never finish.

We are coming towards the end of the night shift here. 

We had about 10 kids come through, which is about an average night shift here.

Some of them are pretty severe, vast majority suffering from malaria or complications of malaria. One of the kids sadly passed away, a little guy of about two who came in, in shock, very little we could do for him sadly. 

A lot of the cases we get overnight are the more severe cases. It takes a while for them to come in from the isolated villages and a lot of the project that runs here is to go out into those villages increase that education, distribute mosquito nets and try to decrease that isolation and prevent those severe cases.

So for me, I hand over to the day team in about half an hour. Head home and have some breakfast, have a bit of a kip and relax and then I will come back later on tonight to do it all again. 

Next Storm

In the middle of a pretty big storm here. Probably means that most of the cases we will get over the night will be the more serious ones. If they brave the lightening and insanely heavy rain.

This really isn't the drizzling consistent rain of a British summer’s day, but a genuine torrential storm with fork and sheet lightening everywhere. It will carry on like this for about 10...20...30 minutes and then probably go back to being sticky and hot and do it again all tomorrow.

It will carry on like this, apparently for another couple of months, and as I said that's when we’ll get our biggest peak of malaria and the most number of severe cases coming in from the surrounding villages.

There is something strangely comforting about trying to sleep with rain hammering against the tin roof.

Sadly tonight it means I will get absolutely drenched running between the emergency department and the paediatric ward, much to the hilarity of all the parents and nurses here.

As you can imagine: as a parent it means you are less likely to take your kid to the emergency department, and they might wait until the morning when the case of malaria has gone from severe to life threatening.

Unfortunately, not much you can do about that, apart from deal with the kid as and when they arrive.