Niger: Opening of the humedica-Clinic in Kollo

by Simone Winneg, JKÜ, 2009/03/06

Monday, 02/23/09 will always be a day to remember for us. At 8 a.m., the hospital in Kollo that was built through the common effort of so many people and organizations, opened its doors for the population in Kollo.

Over three quarters are children under five who do not pay anything for consultation and treatment in our clinic.

We want to give access to the most vulnerable group of people here in Niger – with a mortality of 12,5 % of under fives, Niger is one of the leading countries in the world.

Dr. Matthias Heß dressed the wound of the young girl. Photo: humedica/Winneg

The first day already, we could treat a seven year old girl with a severe burn on the upper arm – two weeks and a half passed already since it happened!

Now, at the end of the week and a change of dressing every second day, the wound is already much better, the girl doesn’t feel so much pain and comes to our clinic without fear with a smiling face.

Late in the evening, when the team already finished the day, a girl came with a deep cut in her foot that had to be sutured. She doesn’t go to school – therefore she didn’t have any vaccination against tetanus and we sent the mother quickly to get some.

Unfortunately, the clinic is not yet equipped with this medicine... “unfortunately” because the shot that the mother brought was not sterile, transported in a plastic bag with cold water.

Again, our doctors and nurses could help the girl and sutured the cut professionally, with sterile and high quality equipment.

The youngest patient of the week was a one day old baby that needed urgent help. The mother delivered at home without a trained birth assistant, cutting the cord with a normal knife and a piece of cloth.

Most of the children are under five years. Photo: humedica/Winneg

Our midwife advised her and insisted on the importance of the first care of newborns. We hope that the care that we can give to this newborn will help him in fighting the eventual infection during his first day on this world.

We were so overwhelmed of all the cases that we saw during the first week, that we couldn’t even imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t open our doors this same week.

Our impressions could fill pages and pages of emotions, of laughing and crying children, thankful mothers and the feeling that we are in the right place on the right time.

The german humedica-Team wants to thank you all for your support.
Photo: humedica/Winneg

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