Friday, August 3, 2012

Stories from the Field: "Tragedies" in Kazigo B

By Gloria Tran

On Thursday, July 26, two tragedies occurred simultaneously under the roof of Kazigo B.

It was a dark, but not so stormy night. Well, dark because there's no electricity of course. Four members of Kazigo B huddled in the living room around the light of a single kerosene lamp.

Simon Peter wasn't feeling well; he was thinking he had malaria. Emily and I exchanged glances: it was time to break out the malaria test. After reading the picture instructions by the light of our phones, we donned on latex gloves, alcohol-prep his finger and stabbed him with the little blue lancel needle. Poor SP needed to be stabbed twice to get enough blood. Then, we waited 15 min for the blood to migrate across the test applicator.

Meanwhile, Em visited the latrine. Suddenly I heard a shout from out in the yard. Wide-eyed with terror, Em ran in, asking if she could borrow my phone. When I asked her what was wrong, she replied, "I think something terrible just happened," and bolted back out the front door, clutching my phone as a flashlight. Dan yelled after her, "Snake bite?"

We then glanced at the white plastic malaria test piece to check its progress. With abated breath, we squinted as the fluid cleared the second line. Two strips, it's malaria! Sorry, SP!

A few moments later, Em returned with news of her own tragedy: her phone slipped out of her headband and dropped into the latrine pit. The phone had cracked into two pieces when it landed on the floor. Only the battery and cover had survived the accident. We mourned when the worst part of the tragedy suddenly dawned upon us all: we wouldn't be able to call the phone and have it ring suddenly while someone used the latrine! Noo!

 The rest of the week was the usual mix of the positives and negatives of community work.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Kazigo B teamed up with Kazigo A to help them with their sanitation push, where we went around helping as many households build Tippy Taps, plate stands, etc. as possible.

Because we only had a couple of days, we only perhaps reached 80 houses, just to get things started in the community. Despite that, I am still so impressed by Kazigo A's commitment and cooperation. That's really the thing that made the push the most successful. They must have responded to the baseline survey, community meetings and sensitizations and the hands-on workshop with the VHT... and decided that they wanted to be a part of this huge sanitation improvement campaign. I saw giant swimming-pool sized trash pits, fortified sturdy perfectionistically perpedicular plate stands (better than ours!), Tippy Taps galore! What a feeling!

Thursday, we planned for a safe water sensitization using answering Jeopardy questions as a interactive way of teaching. No one showed, apparently due to it being rice harvest season. We were disappointed, yeah, but I think we understood that mobilizing for community education is always hard work.

On Friday, we enlisted Maureen's help to talk to our community members about Family Planning. Our group of women were attentive, but also really talkative and giggly. Nice to see that women can bond about their sexuality in rural Africa as well! A question was raise about where the Implanon implant should go, and an old woman (our most loyal attendee) said "Eh! (Psh!)" raised her arm to point at her tricep, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

1 comment:

rwakabukoza said...

aaaw Simon Peter, i hope he gets well soon