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Thursday Doors Zambia

Thursday Doors

I can’t resist contributing to this addictive blog. The doors in rural Zambia are not as fascinating as Italy or Montreal, but they are doors just the same.

These are the school toilets at Rumase School in Kakumbi

Note the yellow plastic barrel with a tap to allow students to wash their hands after using the toilet. There’s no soap, but what the dickens, you can’t have everything. I went to the school to vaccinate students against diphtheria and tetanus. This is a booster dose. The head teacher had informed the parents and no one declined to have their child vaccinated. We had 100% uptake (though some children may have been off school for some reason).

I explained to the class why we were vaccinating them. I told them that it might hurt a bit, but it would be better if they relaxed and were not tense. Not one child squirmed or wriggled. No one cried. Such a brave bunch of children.

This is the door of one of our volunteer community health workers

I don’t just vaccinate children in schools. I accompany the team for community under 5’s clinics twice a week. You can read more about this in my blog next Thursday (but not in Thursday Doors). We weigh children and identify those who are failing to thrive. Our vaccination coverage is almost 100%. The mothers are convinced that the vaccines keep their children healthy. We also de-worm the children and give vitamin A supplements (to avoid blindness) every six months. Adults get mass treatment with diethylcarbamazine to prevent elephantiasis (from filariasis).

The doors might look neglected and in need of some tender loving care, but the children are certainly looked after well, by both the health workers and the parents.

By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

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