Ashley Peatfield writes from Funzi

The challenge of comple medical cases has been dominating today. The teenage girl who cn’t walk and has painfully thin arms appears to have been largely abandonned by her mother who lives elsewhere and visits ocasionally. She’s been left in the care of another woman. This was the child whose Grandma died during the recent cholera outbreak ands the old lady hd been caring for the girl.

Today I got a doctor to come from the hospital to the village to see her. The child lives in terrible poverty , in a dark room on beds that are just a frame and a broken spiders web of string. We got the doctor to bring a special nurse and to lay the girl on the floor while she was measured for a special metal frame which wll be constructed for her. Her guardian promise that we could take the girl to hospital three times a week to have treatment. The dotor remans optomistic that ift this continues then she will walk.

Meanwhile I visited the tailor in Bodo and got him to ther doctors too. Good news here. They thought a second operation for ligament problems was inevitable. But tests today suggest physio three times a week will also give him the ability to walk again too. We are searching for a small boy with blockages in his nasal passages and once w locate hm will get him to hospital where he needs an operation.

Yesterday I had one of those awful dilemas- although the reponse was never really in doubt. A woman approached me with hopital paperwork. Her 67 year old father has a very large cancerous growth in is stomach and has been unable to get the operation he needs because the family doesn’t have the three hundred pounds needed. It isn’t part of our planning or budget and every medical case means a plan like the secndary school moves a little further away. But it’s impossible to deny it. I couldn’t live with myself thinking that an elderly man- obviously so loved by his daughter- was suffering let alone would die for the sake of three hundred pounds- in reality I know this is just the start of the costs and I am advised this operation my be double in the end let along after care.

Thank goodnes for our fantastic trustees who did the three peaks walk on Sunday despite terrible weather . I am so grateful to you all and felt so proud of the trustees when I heard that everyone had done it . You can still sponsor them if you haven’t already and help us with some of these cases I have described.

The school at Bodo is developing at a pace. It appears we will have to ut in air conditioning into the resource centre otherwise the computers wont survive in this environment. We have also been asked about a kitchen. Children at the school are not getting the food they need at home so supplies of grain and meal hve been provided by big agencies. But they need a place to prepare . We are getting quotes for all these things and a few others including providing a water supply for washing of hands for the new school toilets, There is inevitably huge amounts of village politics to handle and at times over the past few days I have felt a bit stressed with everything but we will get there and when we see the results it will be so worth it all. Sara is spending hours doing library cataloguing – it requires the kind of patience I don’t have ! As we watched the tourists arriving to relax by swimming pools and tak in the sights it did make us think we might be mad but the rewards are diferent.


About funzibodo

The Funzi and Bodo Trust (FAB) exist to try and change things for the better. Working with local people we are creating the conditions for a better environment where people can reach their true potential and where at least the basics of life are available affording a decent quality of life for all.
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