What a celebration!
Not only Jappineh people, but most of the surrounding villages were all standing at the main roadside to greet us as we arrived. They then sang, drummed, danced (of course I joined in) all the way to health centre.
When we arrived there, many more people were waiting under the canopy for us. After the usual slight delay for prayers, lunch, waiting for the elders and the governor's representative to arrive, the speeches started off around 3 pm. Interspersed with more entertainment, they went on until well after 6 pm.
From what I could understand (and some were translated fully for me) everybody is just so, so, very grateful that they finally have an ambulance at Jappineh. It was great to hear, even if the amount of praise was reaching embarassing proportions!
As everyone was dispersing and going to look at the ambulance, a donkey cart pulled in. On it was a disabled woman, her wheelchair and 3 relatives. They had come around 5 km from a nearby village. Ansu immediately diagnosed severe anemia, possibly with heart failure and told her family she needed an immediate blood transfusion and to be on oxygen (which we can't do at Jappineh).
Imagine the relief of everybody concerned when we told them we could whisk them all off to Soma Hospital by an ambulance which had only just arrived. And when When we phoned the next morning, she was doing fine.
So, within a couple of hours of its arrival at Jappineh, the Mel 1 ambulance has already saved a life! To see the full story behind Mel 1, click here.
The News Diary is a regular account of all that is happening at The African Oyster Trust. Please pop back for regular updates, follow us on Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have the latest news sent straight to your computer!
The news diary is written by a number of people close to the work of the African Oyster Trust, including founder James Holden, his co-directors, trustees and volunteers.