Back on Monday the nurse asked if I would help with immuization day, and sucker that I am, I did. Whoa! The nice little, mostly quiet, clinic was transformed with screaming babies. Between the two of us I’m pretty sure we immunized nearly 50 babies. Near the end I paused long enough to take a picture of the few who were left in the “waiting room”, which is also the veranda outside the clinic.
Here is a picture of Lucy, the nurse who is the only one there when I’m not. Lives there and works 24/7. She is looking up mixing ratios and drawing up a batch of immunizations. Most of what they receive comes powdered so they stay without refrigeration but then need to be mixed before we can give them. Most of the kids who come have a card that tells us who is due for what, but a few mothers have kids and not cards, or vice versa in two cases. (In the mother’s defense- they can’t read and have to remember which child is due and brings all the cards not knowing which card is for which child but when you have 7 or 9 children and bring the three you think need you may miss one or two.) There was also one case that as I write it now isn’t as funny as it was after 20 children and a busy night shift but at the time it was translated for me I almost fell off my chair laughing. A mother sat down with her baby on her lap and handed the nurse the card while I started to record in our log book. Then Lucy started going on pretty rapidly in Ateso and the mother got a bit worked up and handed me the baby and quickly left. Lucy told me she left a child at home who also needed injections and would come back. So, with the baby on my lap, we called the next family in. In about 20 minutes she came back with the child she forgot- turns out it was the twin of the one I was holding. Oops.
Fun day but I’m glad I won’t be doing that again in the near future.