Wednesday 16 June 2010

Amela not Pamela

I thought Pamela was a funny name for a boy - it's Amela!

He has been admitted to the PCMH Hospital. He has been diagnosed with Tuberculosis which has affected his chest and spine. He is going to need treatment for a least 6 months and will be kept in hospital for the next 2 months. The damage to his lungs and spine is such that he won't recover completely but we're hoping he can be made more comfortable and that his pain can be controlled. I've arranged for a lady who knows him to stay at the hospital with him.

There isn't anything that can be done about the damage to his legs and bottom, but although they look bad he doesn't seem to be in any pain with them.

The hospital only provides medical care, so I got him a bucket (for water for washing), bowl, spoon, cup, clothes, washing powder, soap, blanket, flask and I've left money for food and water for him to cover the 2 months that he'll be in hospital. The hospital charge 1,000 leones (around 20p) for each bucket of water from the tap. We've also paid for his medication for the next 2 months.

It seems like a good hospital, it's bright and clean and the staff are professional. Amela has a bed next to the window so it's light and airy and I hope he'll be comfortable there.

I went to see the lady who runs the children's home that he lives in today and she was worried about taking him back after the two months in case others contracted the TB, but everyone else there has been vaccinated. I'll stay in touch with her and she how she feels about taking him back as time goes on.

I leave Sierra Leone in 2 days to return to the UK for a while, so I'll be going to see him tomorrow to say goodbye and make sure he has everything he needs. When I asked yesterday if there was anything he wanted he said "biscuits"!!

There is good news, the hospital routinely test for HIV and his result was negative.

Monday 14 June 2010


This is Pamela, he has been living at Mahanaim home for disabled children since March. He has never been able to walk so when he was younger his parents took him to a country doctor where he was treated by fire - he now has scars from the burns going from his bottom all the way down to the backs of his knees. The fire treatment didn't work.

His chest and back are deformed, but we don't know if he was born that way or if it's a result of bad treatment he had received due to his disabilities. He had a lot of pain in his chest and regularly struggles to breathe.

Today I took him to the satelite hospital in Rokupa where he was referred to see a pediatrician at the PCMH hospital in Fourah Bay Road. I'm waiting to see if there's anything that can be done to make him more comfortable.