ok - busy week with lots of working into night time and now it's nearly 7 on friday and i haven't left the office yet, and i'm really hungry and want to eat dinner... but i want to send this blog entry off... so it's um, gonna be short.
so the quick and dirty - we are checking out the health needs right now with the flooding thats been going on. this started with calling health authorities and other ngo's to find out what monitoring was going on and what they were observing in the areas they were already present, all the while getting geared up to see for ourselves. on friday we got in the cars and travelled to what were thought to be the worst hit areas of dhaka to talk to people first hand (see, there's ilse and rizby above asking women if there have been health problems).
there are soooo many organisations on the ground, and bangladesh is pretty well versed to annual floods, and the health needs usually don't present until after the water goes down - so it's an interesting situation to try to assess. as you can see below, the water is mostly 'up' still. the picture below is one dhaka neighbourhood that's been affected by the river flooding.
in this photo (below) you can see the area on the other side of dhaka where the water is actually rain water that can't drain anywhere anymore.
today after going to different areas of dhaka the great news is the level of awareness people seem to have about diarrheal illnesses (biggest problems after flooding) and all the people we talked to said they were using o.r.s. (oral rehydration salts) if they got sick and also going to the clinics/hospitals if they needed assistance. it's so great to see how well informed people are.
below you can see dr. gabi (medco) vlado (log co) and the chin of our logistics support guy from hq (olaf). they are asking about health issues as well as water availability. the loggies are here to see if people have clean drinking water, and to check out the general water/sanitation situation.
we also went to the recently expanded hospital that icddrb runs here in dhaka. they've put up a 200 bed stabilisation unit in the parking lot, and admitted 900 diarrheal cases yesterday (which to answer your question, yes, that is quite high).
now tomorrow we are sending one team north, and sunday another team will leave. loggies have been very busy prepping gear for explos.
although in this photo everyone is just looking at the gear :) for flood explos lots of boots and life jackets are included in the kits.
we're extra lucky that we had 2 advisors in from amsterdam. and we're keeping them an extra week. so yes, very busy. but will keep all updated.
and now i've included some pictures below that just make me smile.
see the danger of bamboo bridges combined with gumboots
ahhhh teamwork (is it worth pointing out that about 100 people are 10 feet away watching and laughing?)
that's all for now