Friday, January 7, 2011

January 7th, the 7th day!

So today we did another HIV/AIDS program.  We got to the village and all set up and the chief came and said that the women had all left for Friday prayers.  So instead, we went back to the clinic and toured the entire grounds.  We even got to meet the Minister for Health in this region.  It was pretty cool. Overall, the clinic seemed much like any here.  There were differences of course, but the biggest was something that we've seen many times already and that is that there really isn't ANY patient privacy here in Ghana.  There is no HIPPAA to contend with and so they really don't even attempt to keep people's information secret.  Below are some posters that we saw on doors and such for health promotion.

  Anyone notice the scoop stretcher on the ambulance stretcher?  It's just like the ones we use at home!  The white bales are treated mosquito nets to protect children from Malaria.  The thing is, talking to the minister that none of those nets are for this region.  The national office just decided they were going to store them here and dumped them all over the place.  Half of the clinic space is filled with nets that the clinic cannot even give out.  So they have very limited space, and don't get anything out of the inconvenience.  The national office waited until the regional minister was at the capitol to dump them all here so that he couldn't say no until after they were already all unloaded and the trucks gone and there was nothing he could do about it.

The next several pictures were taken in the lab at the clinic, the differences are astounding!

So things to note about the lab, eating and drinking in the presence of samples of HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and every other imaginable sickness. NO GLOVES TO BE SEEN!!! And, his own private laptop on facebook in the lab with the infectious material.

This is fufu in light soup with fish.  This is like the traditional number one Ghanaian meal.  It's pounded casava (yam) and plantain formed into a dough and then placed in this very peppery soup.  It was pretty good.  You eat it with your right hand.  Everything here is done with your right hand, because your left hand is considered unclean, (and because it typically is as they use it to wipe with and then don't wash their hands).  So you reach into the bowl with your hand and tear off a little chunk of the dough and shape it into a little bowl and dip it back in the soup, then swallow it without chewing.  It was pretty good but a little too spicy for my liking.

Following the eating of the fufu, we went back to the NGO's office.  We went to both their old one so they could show it to us, where we met another volunteer who has been with them since August, his name is Jacob and is from Germany, then we stopped by their new one although didn't go in...Then we headed back to the village and did the program.  I taped the whole program and will try to get it uploaded to here once I get back to the states, the internet is not the best here and is not cooperating with uploading that much.  I will close with a picture of my friend Alicia from my group.  We all get mobbed by little kids anytime they see a camera.  They want their picture taken, then they want to see their picture, then they want you to give them money for letting you take their picture.  Mobs like this one happen everytime you get out a camera though.  It's pretty overwhelming.

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