Friday, March 8, 2013

Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be…. Eoghan

CBR, the fantastic organisation that we’re working with in Sandema, do lots of work for the people of Builsa. As well as working with and improving the lives of people with disabilities, they also offer support in a number of other areas including health and education. Last week, we had the opportunity to assist the CBR staff with a health screening at a school in Bechonsa. CBR carry out regular screenings in schools across the district to identify health issues and disabilities amongst the children.

We travelled to Bechonsa in the trusty CBR vehicle with project officers Joseph and Francis, along with staff from the Builsa District Hospital. With the car full, Tracy, Poppy, Will and I were left to sit in the trunk with Joseph. It was a little bit of a squeeze, but cosy all the same.

We arrived at the school to be greeted by a sea of children, aged between three and eleven, who were sat patiently waiting for their check ups. The CBR team and the medical staff set up in an empty classroom, where the children would be examined by Joseph, who specialised in physiotherapy, a physiatrist and an eye specialist.

We were each designated a role to help out; Tracy was with the children, sending them one by one to be examined, Poppy and Will made a tally of male and females who were checked, and I waited by the doorway assisting the children in and out of the makeshift medical room.

The doctor will see you now...

 It was an enjoyable experience, as it was something none of us had ever done before. However, it was upsetting to see the appearance of some of the children, as some were missing hair, revealed bloated stomachs and bowed legs. Luckily, no major medical cases were found and the majority of problems, such as eye infections stemmed from a lack of hygiene. This, I found frustrating, as it is such a simple task that can be prevented. Although in this area of Bechonsa, as mentioned in Tracy’s previous post ‘How much can £10.50 get you in Ghana’, the closest source of water is 10k away and ‘having a shower comes secondary to drinking’.

The lack of hygiene issue was noted and brought up by the eye specialist, who complained to the teacher for not having a health specialist in the school to teach the children basic hygiene routines. During my time in Ghana, I’ve realised that it’s the little things that make the big differences.

One of the pupils having an eye test

 In total the health specialists examined over 200 children. It was a great insight into different areas of CBR and was lovely to have the opportunity to work with and meet other staff members and the children.

200+ kids down and we decided to pack up to leave. Back into the trunk we went for the long journey back, frying in the heat as we sat bare to the sun. I can honestly say it’s the hottest I’ve been (which I’m currently doubting right now, as I sit here typing this). We all alighted with a rosy glow and in some cases a healthy looking tan. I’m looking at you William, or should I say Eoghan!

As Poppy and I sat in the trunk with out backs to the car, Tracy and Will sat at the opposite end, getting the worst of the dust that blew out from behind them. Mixed with wind and sweat, Will looked like a different man once we arrived back in Sandema. His hair was stood upright, embedded with sweat and dust, giving it a sandy/ginger tint, and his face looked like he had a spray tan as it was coated in dust, sitting heavy in his eyebrows. It was hilarious!

If you’re able to view a photo right now, count yourself lucky (and I’ll probably owe Will 10 Ghana cedi for allowing me to upload it). If not, imagine Dale Winton with blonde hair, aged around 70. Poppy and I christened Will’s new look, Eoghan [say it how it's spelt for added effect], after the failed X-Factor contestant, Eoghan Quigg, as he developed a camp Irish accent that went with his new look perfectly.

Introducing Ghana's Irish mega star... Eoghan.

- Jenna 

P.S Many thanks to Will-i-am for letting me finally upload Eoghan

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