Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning

Raquel has taken medical teams to the crossroads 3 times in the last 2 months. These health brigades (as they are referred to) are done in Quebo, Guiledge and Djati about once every other month. The "office" visits are free of charge, however the people must pay for their own medication (the usual price is $1 - $4).

This past weekend, Maritza joined the health brigade (she goes as often as possible) along with four doctors and Raquel, at the crossroads (the crossroads are near the village of Guiledge - where our 2nd school is being built) The team treated many, many patients. They arrived early and the people poured in.  Many had traveled great distances for treatment. They suffered from malaria, typhoid, high fevers, vomiting, pregnancy, facial tumors, and, one burn victim -- a little boy. All were helped by the team.  Many children would have died within a week if the medical team had not gone to the crossroads this one more time.

The doctors that participate in the health brigades do not bring medicine. That is left up to Raquel. She generally buys the medicine to sell at cost, but most often, she sells it below cost or gives it away for free, to help the people. She obtains the medicine from a pharmacy on "good faith" and she scrapes together the pennies to pay the pharmacy. The need is now greater than what she can supply and once again the brigade ran out of some of the needed medicines.

I've posted a few of the pictures I received, to give you an idea of the current medical situation in the villagers of Guinea Bissau.

The saddest pictures in the group were of a little boy about 2 years old who had been burned in a fire. The people make open fires on the ground for cooking and it is not uncommon for younger children to be burned by accident.

The little boy in the picture below tripped and fell into the fire while his mother was cooking. He had no medical attention for a couple of days until the brigade arrived. Fortunately he was treated. Waiting any longer would have increased the chances of him losing his arm. Pictures below.

these photos are graphic
click to enlarge


There is a real need to supply our team with medicine to help the people of the villages. We have included the cost to supply medicine to the village of Djati in our current project (we will need to put together an additional plan to assist with medication costs in the other locations our team serves).

I'm very happy to have these pictures to share. A big thanks to Maritza for supplying photos and post content!

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