Direct medical aid, school projects, caps, blankets, soup kitchen

Continuation of projects in North and East India

Mon, Nov. 26, 2018 - 8:30pm, written by Alexandra & Frank, published by Frank

Short update

In the meantime, the majority of the team has returned home safely. The second part of the tour consisted of a round trip to the northeast with visits to various colonies of leprosy sufferers. Here it was ensured that e.g. the school projects continue well. In Chota Phool (small flower), a village which FriendCircle Worldhelp has been supporting for years, school clothes, shoes, exercise books, pens and hygiene material such as soap and pens were bought. In each village, Jürgen, Benno, Tobias, Venu and Alexandra examined together the situation, decided and directly initiated the necessary steps (photos will follow in a few days).

In one village shower cabins were built and hand pumps were provided. The material had already been bought in August and now the construction work has been successfully completed. For the women in the village this means a big relief for their personal hygiene, since until then they could wash up only clothed in order to be protected from the looks of others ...
Even after the departure of the team and while Alexandra is still in Delhi and in the north, photos of part 1 and 2 of the trip arrive daily. Be it photos from the hospitals after successful OP's in the Himalaya or further photos of repaired roofs etc. from the leprosy villages in Bihar.
Currently, Alexandra is distributing school supplies, shoes and blankets to children below the poverty line in the north.
Here are a few photos from today and a short video sequence of the distribution of shoes (approx. 3,50 Euro / pair).
The old ones are often very worn out or completely broken and so it is a great joy for the little ones.
The shoes are Immediately tried on - if they are too small there remains the opportunity to exchange them quickly.

Photo & Video:
Distribution of shoes to children below the poverty line in Northern India

 

Fri, Nov. 23, 2018 - noon, written by Alexandra, published by Frank

530,00€ for the reconstruction of two family livelihoods

The second part of the tour leads Tobias, Jürgen, Benno and Alexandra to Bihar, a state in eastern India.
While working in several leprosy villages, the team is also facing difficult fates.
 
One morning, our friends learn that the straw huts of two families were completely burned the night before. It is hard to imagine what this means for a poor family. The father of one of the families is 45 years old, handicapped on one arm. He earns some money from farming with a landowner. Everything that the family with two children has earned up to this point has been burned to ashes in this one night. There is no fire insurance, no governmental aid for reconstruction, no old-age insurance.
 
At our first meeting the affected people are in shock and are not able to speak.The plan for this day was quickly set up: purchase all items needed for the reconstruction and furnishing of the two homes. Corrugated iron roofs, kitchen utensils, clothes (there are only those left that people wear), sleeping mats and what is most important: food. the two mothers of the families accompany us during the whole shopping. Their faces look almost petrified during the many hours. Only when a bulk order is placed at the grocery store do they smile with all their heart. 
In order to enable these two families to continue their life as before a total of 530.00€  is spent.
THANKS to ALL friends at home for your compassion ...- Your support is so great that it can hardly be expressed in words.

 

Fri, Nov. 9,.2018 - 3pm, written by Frank, published by Frank

1,100 patients treated in five days in the "Free Medical Hospital"

After the first day of the Free Medical Hospital had gone very well, it is time to improvise in the early morning of the following day. Light rain has set in, therefore, the treatment rooms have to be moved from the outside to the adjacent school. While the technical helpers are installing additional lamps and the medicines are being sorted in the "pharmacy", the first patients arrive despite the bad weather. Everyone is helping with the "move", and the students are also enthusiastic about this event.

The day is filled with work for the team until the late evening hours. Except for a short break for tea and lunch, there are no breaks. The result is positive, since despite the difficult conditions all patients could be treated. Fortunately, the weather prospects for the following days are good again. Also the second night is cold and the patients who had to stay overnight for observation are accommodated in the classrooms with blankets and sleeping bags.

The next days the sun is shining again. Many patients arrrive on foot or are brought, and there is a long queue at the registration desk. All available helpers are mobilized. In addition to the treatment rooms in which assistants and interpreters are needed, the waiting people have to be cared for. The driver team cooks Chai and food is cooked with the kitchen equipment brought along.

Hundreds of patients are passing through the "makeshift hospital". Personal data, medical disorders and numbers are recorded and distributed in the recording room, then the patients are guided to the laboratory for blood samples and the like. Afterwards, they arrive at the waiting area and finally they come to the doctors' treatment rooms. The most diverse physical complaints are examined, treated and the patients are advised. Necessary medication is available directly in the pharmacy. Infections of all kinds (lungs, ears, bladder), deficiencies (osteoporosis due to calcium deficiency, anaemia due to iron/B12/folic acid deficiency, protein deficiency and underweight (!) ...), high blood pressure, diabetes (milder forms), gynaecological complaints, haemorrhoids, eye diseases etc. are most often treated.

This time, dental treatment can also be provided professionally, as the team has set up a mobile dental practice. Approximately 50 teeth have to be extracted from about 30 patients, mainly due to periodontitis and infections...
At the suggestion of Marcus, Mr. Shukla shows the children at school how to brush their teeth properly with a model set of teeth brought with them. The little ones practice under guidance with great zeal and everyone hopes that they will then also continue at home.

Many mothers with children are among the patients, and the stuffed animals brought along help to distract some of the little patients. For this purpose the many knitted wool caps of our knitting ladies are distributed. Radiating eyes and gestures full of gratitude show the great value these little gifts have for the people up here...

In the evening of the third day the door of the hospital is closed and the team starts to walk to the accommodation. At this moment a group of excited people brings a seriously injured woman on a stretcher - she has just been injured by a buffalo. Immediately, the treatment is started. After the rest of the team has been anxiously waiting, finally there is positive news  - her circulation and state of health have been stabilised. After a long wait a vehicle arrives to drive the woman from the remote mountain village to the next hospital. Everyone is relieved and goes to dinner, lost in thought.
What would have happened if the team hadn't just been there "by chance"?

Time is running fast and the end of the stay and the "Free Medical Hospital" is approaching. 45 patients have to be transferred to clinics (4-6 hours driving time!) during the five days due to further diagnostics (CT, X-rays etc.) or for necessary operations.
The tension is easing as it slowly becomes apparent that the number of waiting patients is also decreasing ...

Happily, on the evening of the last day a positive balance is drawn - more than 1,100 people were treated! And the medication was exactly sufficient as all patients, who need a longer intake, coul be given a 3-6 months supply.  The next morning, we only have to clean up and say thank you and goodbye to all helpers on the spot. The farewell is warm and it is difficult to leave the new friends behind...

The first part of the return journey begins with a stopover at the hospital in Sri Nagar, where the displaced patients are visited. These cases were the most difficult and so the team takes a lot of time for the visits and the organisation of the further care.

The following day, the return journey to Delhi starts eary with a good feeling and the team arrives safely at the hotel in Karol Bagh during the night. Until Saturday is a rest period before one part of the team will fly back home and Benno will join the team for the second part of the trip.

 

Fri, Nov. 2nd, 2018 - 9:10am, written by Frank, published by Frank

Free Medical Hospital "opened"

Yesterday evening the team arrived in Ukhimath on schedule after 20 hours of driving (with breaks). The truck and the transport bus were unloaded the same night.

In 1300 m altitutde the first night was quite cold. In the morning, after a Chai, the team gathers for a last preliminary meeting, then the hospital starts. Now in the morning everything has to be ready before the rush begins.
Soon the patients arrive and after a short phase of slight chaos everything fits in - the Free Medical Hospital is opened.
The first photos, which we would like to share with you here, will soon arrive via Whatsapp.
Greetings from our team!

 

Thur, Nov. 1st, 2018 - 8.41pm, written by Alexandra & Frank, published by Frank

Purchase of medicine etc. and departure to the mountains

During the last few days the team in Delhi has been working under high pressure to get everything needed for the "Free Medical Hospital" in the mountains. With approx. 1,500 pre-registered patients, they have to bring along sufficient medication into the isolated mountain villages as there is otherwise no source of supply.
A visit to a small dental practice gives Marcus and Christina a new perspective on the possible expectations of the patients in the mountains. Immediately the shopping list is extended by some dental positions.
Meanwhile, Alexandra buys items needed for the care of the patients during the treatment. Searching for blankets she discovers a small weaving mill - when the enters the building, she feels like a journey through time. The working conditions and earning possibilities cannot be compared with the standards of the industrialized world at home. After a tour, the decision is made and the owner and the few employees are overjoyed when Alexandra buys many of their hand-woven blankets for the patients. Alexandra distributes the owner's discount before his eyes to the employees, resulting in shining eyes and gestures full of gratitude - also from the head of the weaving mill...
In addition, cooking utensils, stoves, tarpaulins, lights and extension cables are purchased. The entire infrastructure of the camp will be set up in tents and also the patients will have to be supplied with food after long walks to the place of treatment...

In the evenings at the hotel the lists are being compared and the deliveries which arrive at the hotel are checked. The hotel in the Karol Bagh district is conveniently located and after many stays the team has the full support of the entire crew. All of them help to move the boxes etc. into the rooms and a separate storage room.
For the duration of the camp, the owner of the hotel has even promised his support with one of his best employees. Mr. Shukla, from the reception, will accompany the team as a translator!

The rest of the time can of course also be used for preliminary discussions, final planning and "training". Michael shows e.g. Tobias and Jürgen, who will carry out the patients' admission, the handling of different devices, as you can see on the photos.

Dinner can always be taken around the corner in the food court - a kind of Indian fast food restaurant with local dishes.
After four days departure starts at - with a 16-seater bus the journey to the north begins. The team leaves Delhi packed with all the necessary things and further companions...

 

Sun, Oct, 28, 2018 - 5:45pm, written by Alexandra & Frank, published by Frank

Team safely arrived in Delhi

This morning the team of seven persons safely arrived in Delhi. With 19 pieces of luggage weighing over 300 kg, packed with medical equipment, medicine and knitted caps of our knitting friends. In the next days further medicine will be bought and other necessary things like blankets for patients who have to stay overnight in the tents.

For Michael, Tobias, Marcus, Michaela, Christina, Jürgen and Alexandra there is a lot to do now before going to the mountains with Venu, Sunny and other companions. In long walks over many weeks Negi and Manju had visited mountain villages announcing the "Free Medical Hospital".
Meanwhile more than 1,500 patients have been pre-registered and a Herculean task awaits our friends...

 

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