Since Rohini and I live in different neighborhood, we decided to meet at WARC so we can get a cab together to go to the center. When we got there, we tried to find the guy who we met on last Thursday. But with neither of us speaking French, it was hard to communicate with anyone at the center. We ended up with a pharmacist who can speak English and he told us that we can choose wherever we want to go and shadow. I wanted to stay at the pharmacy but he told me there is not much thing going on in the pharmacy and that I should rather go to pediatrics since I was interested in that section too. He introduced me to a nurse in pediatrics and I tried everything I can to communicate with her. She asked me if I was interested in following the volunteers who were going to leave soon to give free vaccination to children in the neighborhood. I told her I would do it and was introduced to the only guy who can speak English from the group.
We were split into 3 groups and got cabs to go to the neighborhood. The guy told me that they give free Polio vaccination twice a year to children(newborn to 5 year old) who can’t afford to get shots on their own. The neighborhood we ended up going was right by the African Renaissance monument. As you can see in the pictures, the houses were in really bad conditions(actually, its more like wracks than houses). The houses are built on the bare ground with the metal cardboard and there were no furnitures inside whatsoever except some blankets and buckets. What's worse is that in one of the houses, a women was trying to make fire with rocks and paper.
We had to knock one each door to see if there is a child in the house. Since, it is so hard to keep a record of people living in the neighborhood, that was the only way to make sure that we don't miss any babies to give vaccines. It was really sad to see babies playing on the ground and drinking water from dirty buckets. What made it worse/sad is that the parents didn't seem to mind seeing and letting babies play on the street even though the neighborhood was full of garbage and construction sites.
|Giving oral polio vaccine to a 3-year-old boy|