Expanding the Ward

Kim and her team get to work protecting patients from the burning heat of the Chadian summer

We're building a shade structure to house patients in the event of overflow. As the construction gets underway (we're about a month late, due to backlog of construction projects and workload elsewhere), we monitor patient levels closely. A spike of patients last week had every single bed filled. Since the shelter is a week away from completion, and it's my task to find places to put more beds, I dig out a tent from stock.

The tent houses the nutritional supplement preparation area (for enriched milk and "plumpy nut" for malnourished children), but with the addition of a few meters of shadow-net (what a great name in English, better than the French "filet à ombre" I think), the tent doubles as a fourth ward.

Lights, beds, tables, and an extension cord turn the tent into a hospital, ready for medical staff. The first patient arrives a few days later, since admissions have settled down and we're no longer full to bursting. The child has tetanus, and needs calm quiet. The tent, even situated in the middle of the court of the malaria ward, is an oasis of calm. 

Hopefully the tent will remain an isolation room. Admissions have fallen after our first distribution of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprophylaxis (SMC), and we were able to close one room of 10 beds in the post-intensive ward. As the rainy season arrives in force, we compare numbers with last year. The rates of malaria are slightly higher, despite the rains coming later this year.

We shall see. On verra.