Thursday, 18 September 2008

Disease Spreads Like Wildfire

As well as the heat, one of the things that has overwhelmed me here is the sheer number of ill people I seem to see in the camp. The huts are so close to each other that any disease that takes a hold here spreads very quickly and easily. As well as all the complications of HIV and AIDS, malaria is also common. I keep coming across open drains and pools of stagnant water with clouds of mosquitoes around them. Some people and in particular pregnant women have mosquito nets: they are provided as part of the kits given out by the Red Cross for expectant mothers within the camp. They’re called ‘mama bags’ and also contain sterilised medical supplies and nappies. The worst sight I have come across here is babies who are sick with malaria who were unlucky or just did not have access to malaria nets–