Esther News

© 2018 - Impressum

- Datenschutzerklärung

Leprosy patient   (05.09.2006)

This old man is one of the leprosy patients, who live in the hospital. Most of the time he is just sitting in front of the hospital kitchen, which is placed directly in front of the Nutrition Unit and this why we see him nearly every day. Sometimes he comes to our Ward to bring some eggs, which he colleced somewhere. He then tries to sell them or he comes and asks for soap, sugar or clothes.

Nile   (05.09.2006)

This wonderful landscape is located at a distance of about 1 hour drive in a car from the capital Kampala. Once in a year all GMMT members who are currently in Uganda are coming together to have a "field-meeting" at this place. The huge river on the picture is the Nile which helps to produce most of the electricity used in the country. Unfortunatly the water level has dropped and the already poor current supply is therefore becoming worse.

Okello   (05.09.2006)

This is one of the kids who didn´t make it. Okello came to us when he was one month old. The mother was mentally ill and had been pregnanted by an unkown person. The grandma tried to take care of the child right after birth, but he lost more and more weight. When she came to us to request for help he weighed only 2 kg while he had weighed 3 kg at birth. In addition to this he was suffering from severe diarrhoea. Since special infant feeding formulas are extremly expensive, we improvised and created a special infant formula based on yoghurt in order to reduce the lactose and to stop the diarrhoea. And indeed: after some days the diarrhoea stopped and we started hoping that he would make it - until he got a high fever which proved to be meningitis and this was simply too much for this small body to fight with. Some days later he died. If you look at the eyes and the face of this small baby, can you imagine that it is not even 2 months old?

Osilo at time of admission  (05.09.2006)

This boy I brought from one outreach. At the first glance you may think that he looks quite well nourished, but if you press your thumb on his feet or legs you will notice massive oedema. Very typical is also the swollen face, the miserable appearance and the light-brown and thin hair. This is a very clear picture of a child with Kwashiorkor.

Osilos oedema   (05.09.2006)

If you want to prove that someone has oedema, you have to press your thumb for 3 seconds on the back of his or her foot. If you can see a dent which slowly disappeares at the place where the thumb has been, the patient has oedema. This picture showes the feeet of Osilo and the dent is clearly visible.

Eating spaghetti without cutlery   (05.09.2006)

Always when we have a meeting for the Nutrition Unit staff, we eat something together before we start. Last time we prepared Spaghetti and since we have no cutlery in the Nutrition Unit, we had to eat it with our hands! It was really funny and a challange for our clothes... .

Tina and Acam   (05.09.2006)

This little girl is admitted in the Nutrition Unit now already for the second time. After her discharge, we went to see her on a follow-up home visit. She was in a poor state again and her older brother was even worse off. The problem was that her father was trying to care for the two of them alone since he had divorced from his wife. When we arrived at his place he was not there. So there was no way of taking the 2 kids directly back to the hospital. But we left some money for transport und told the neighbours that the father should come on the next day with the kids. But when we went back to the car Acam suddenly started crying terribly because she wanted to go with us. She was clutching to my leg while I was trying standing. She was remembering the good time in the Nutrition Unit and that there was enough to eat every day. We tried everything to convince her but finally one of the neighbours had to hold her by force. When we finally left, I was silently crying with her.

Wardround   (05.09.2006)

This is the way it looks like when we have a wardround in the Nutrition Unit. 3 times a week the doctor is supposed to come and see our kids - which is unfortunatly not working very well. Very often we have to go and look for someone if a child developes complications or needs other drugs. Most of our children are not bound to bed therefore the wardround is usually done in our teaching room. Each child has its own files: one for the medical treatment and one for the nutritional rehabilitation.

Flying ants   (05.09.2006)

Would you like to have a taste? This are roasted flying ants. During my first year I couldn´t overcome myself to eat them, but this time I did: 4 of them I ate! But it tasted not really as delicious as local people say, a bit like soil...

Apio at time of admission  (05.09.2006)

This is a little twin girl. She came to us with 2 years of age and a weight of 5 kg. In addition to this she was suffering from various infections such as tuberculosis and malaria. She was not able to walk inspite of her age and she just looked like "skin and bones". Her mother had died after giving birth and the father told us, that all the relatives are blaming him for not taking proper care of the twins. But he assured us again and again that he had done his best. It´s hard to say who is right and who not... at least both of the twins were in a lifethreatening condition when they finally came to us.

Apio after rehabilitation   (05.09.2006)

Only 2 months later both children were able to go home looking quite healthy. Apio had reached her target weight and was even able to walk while holding to a hand. Rose, our social worker, had long talks with the father and his family and finally they decided to give the twins to the grandma while the father should be responsible to bring money or food for them. One month later we visited them at home and we were so happy to see them in a very good condition.

Blind   (05.09.2006)

This blind man comes to the Nutrition Unit nearly every week and asks for money. He is making doormats and sells them. But why should I buy one doormat per week?! And just giving money for nothing is also a problem because it will attract more and more beggars. But how to explain it to this poor man? Sometimes he sits for hours in our teaching room relying on the hospitality which forbids to throw someone out. So he will have a tea with us and remains until we go home. Tina brought for him a harmonica from Germany, which he plays now all the time.

Bicycle amulance   (05.09.2006)

This kind of amulance I saw for the first time when I went for an outreach deep in the bush. Most health centres don´t have any car available and also transport in a car is very expensive, therefore people just attach this amulance to their bicycle (or a borrowed bicycle) and put the patient in it. Then it goes for hours over rough and smooth until they reach the health centre or the next hospital.

Groundnuts   (05.09.2006)

Groundnuts are very common in this area here around Kumi. Right now it is time for harvest. Everywhere you can see people plucking out these roots. Then the nuts are removed and dried in the sun. Very similar to our potatoe harvest. The good thing is, that groundnuts are very nutritious: they contain not only lots of energy, but also protein and on top of that they are easy to store. And since most people here are cultivating groundnuts, it is an ideal food for our children. There are endless possibilities to prepare them: sweet, salty, boiled, fried, roasted, fresh or dried, as a paste on bread or in a sauce for vegetables, meat or fish. Everyday groundnuts, but everyday something different!

Okitoi   (05.09.2006)

Being a white person here means always to be somethings special. In the beginning most children are very much scared when they see me, but once they get used to me, it is difficult to get "rid" of them again. Over the last weeks we had some older and very active kids in the Nutrition Unit. Sometimes it was nearly impossible to go a single step without being followed by them. One of the boys, called Okitoi, was suffering from a terrible fungal infection on his front head. He was staying by his step-mother who doesn´t seem to like him much. With his 5 years he had a height of a 3 year old, although his father his father was quite a tall man. The reason for the stunting: chronic malnutrition and neglection over years.

Eating habits and names   (05.09.2006)

This is how it looks like when our mothers and children are having lunch in the Nutrition Unit: They sit on the ground with the child on the lap, then hands are washed before they start eating. On the plate in front you can see the typical food here: the white thing is Posho which is made out of maize flour and water and the reddish-brown one is Atapa which made out of millet- and cassava flour and water. The consistence reminds a bit of rubber. On top of this staple food everyone gets some red beans and sauce. The child on the right side of the picture is called "Isagaite" which means as much as "bath room". People here are often giving very funny names - from our point of view at least. For exapmle: if a child is delivered on the way to the hospital, it is named Erot = road, if it is delivered by cesarean section it is named Ekileng = knife, if it is born during the dry season it is called Amoding = desert. And then there are some not so nice names like Akurut = worm, Akiteng = cow or even Elungat = rejected. Sometimes you can feel really sorry for children named like that.

© 2009 - Impressum

Pictures from Uganda (September 2006)