Treating patients while sitting on the floor, the treatment room consisting of a plastic table and a rubbish bag affixed to it: familiar habits change, but a new routine develops. Photo: humedica/Heidi Nicklin
Dr. Margrit Wille about a totally “normal” day of treatment in Lebanon
Everyday life is marked by familiar sights, a more or less regular course of action and a particular way of living. Dr. Margit Wille worked as a medical volunteer in Lebanon. After her return, she took stock of the habits and thoughts she acquired far away and of the new conditions which suddenly become part of the daily routine.
“The doorbell rings. Our interpreters come to pick us up – Dr. Inge Olzoy, nurse Susanne Nieswandt, assistant coordinator Ole Hengelbrock and me. Today we are going to a new refugee camp where about 100 families are said to have found shelter, which means that this is one of the larger camps.
On the way there, we pass a checkpoint. Automatically, I take off my sunglasses. The soldier greets us friendly. He already knows our car. We smile back. The tank on the other side of the road has long become a familiar sight as well.
Arrived at the camp, our suspicion turns out to be correct: There will be a lot to do today! I greet every patient with “Salam” and look into countless mouths. Again and again, I am appalled by the bad state of the refugees’ teeth and the numerous abscesses. Nevertheless, I really enjoy the sweet tea offered to us, although it is probably one of the causes of people’s bad teeth.
In the meantime, it has become warm in the tent and we sweat a lot. But we actually consider this a good thing since it spares us a toilet visit in the camp.
On the other side of the table – clearly divided by the rubbish bag affixed to its middle – my colleague Inge treats numerous worm infections, while on my side, I treat lots of patients with bacterial infections.
Inge and I throw a worried look at the dispensary table. Susanne, who, together with our interpreter David, dispenses the medicine prescribed by us, answers our look with a reassuring nod. Like always, her supply will be sufficient.
Unfortunately, some women come to me carrying undesirable inhabitants in their hair. That means: All men have to leave the tent. Only then can the women take off their headscarves. The whole treatment process is slowed down a bit, but this is no problem.
When, after having treated more than 180 patients, we finish treatment for today, our supply of medicine is significantly reduced. Yet we have made it: All patients have left satisfied and with an alleviation of their symptoms. And some of them whom I had wished “Get well soon” in Arabic, had touched my shoulder. A little sign of gratitude.
"The little you can do is a lot if just it serves to take away pain and suffering and fear from a fellow being.” (Albert Schweitzer). Photo: humedica/Heidi Nicklin
Sitting in the car again, I think: “Maybe there will be water in the apartment this evening and we can take a shower. If not, Susanne will surely have some wet wipes for us.” As a part of my evening prayer, I thank God for such a great team I was allowed to work with.”
Like Dr. Margit Wille, the humedica team at the head office, is full of gratitude for all these wonderful and committed helpers and would like to extend their thanks to you, dear friends and benefactors, for your specific support. Please carry on supporting us with a specific donation so that our aid work for Syrian refugees can continue. Thank you so much.
humedica e. V.
Reference “Syrian Refugees”
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00
SWIFT-Code: BYLA DE M1 KFB