Missive number 2

Buccama: The New Health Centre

It is hard to describe the level of excitement that the building of this new Health Centre has generated. This extension became essential as the Govt degree was that Buccama would no longer get a licence to practice if it was not upgraded to Health Centre. This involves building and filling two 10 bed wards( male and female) toilets, septic tank, office, pharmacy and admin room.

Otherwise, the clinic would be closed, all the dedicated staff would have to seek employment else where and the community would lose this amazing facility in the midst of their hardship.

Sister sought for help from the obvious sources and I don’t care to repeat some of the rejections she received. Fortunately thanks to the incredible generosity to EMP during 2015/2016 We are able to fund the work in three distinct phases. Apart from all the usual stuff, this has been our main focus this trip. The other unforeseen aspect by us at least, is that contractors are using all the local people from around here. They will actually be building, and being paid to build, their own Health Centre. WIN WIN all round.

It can only be providential that everything has managed to move so quickly. From reliable contractor to willing workers at every turn. Hence the fact that the work has actually started on the promised day and that we will be able to say, ” We have seen the beginning of a dream coming true.” We are burying a box with lots of symbols that represent the hopes and dreams of this wonderful little establishment.


The lady with paralysis:

As mentioned previously this old lady was brought in completely unable to move as she had lain in bed for 4 years on discovery of her prolapse. For some reason, hard to decipher, she stopped moving. Her young daughter gave up school to look after her and it never occurred to them to bring her to the clinic.

When she finally came in, carried on a stretcher her legs were frozen in the curled up position. Now the clinic has fed her and Maureen has massaged her legs and back every day. We are getting some rudimentary physiotherapy going and low and behold she is starting to move. Not walking yet and that seems quite distant, but transferring herself from bed to chair or wheelchair( of the rickety variety). Maureen is also teaching the daughter to continue with the massage which is definitely loosening the contracted muscles. As the daughter can be no more than 17. We guess that the woman is not actually old at all, so we are optimistic that she will get going. All miracles welcome! Just one more drop in the ocean .

Another commitment we have is to visit six of the “Old and Destitute” . We are supported by an American based charity called “Michael’s House” . The have allocated a monthly survival pension to these old and destitute people, as this is their remit. Sister administers this pension and so we went to visit these folk last Friday. Once again,it is impossible to describe just how on the edge they seem to be. Two are blind and the others are just without support in an area of great hardship. I promise you, it is hard to select the destitute from the almost destitute. We just met a man with a badly broken arm begging for help. Orthopaedic work is very expensive and not in our remit. So hard to say ” no”

But mostly we are seeing progress which is very pleasing. We just have to learn acceptance, patience never giving up!.

Love and thanks to all.

Jo and Maureen.