By Leanne Olson
Those are the journals of Leanne Olson, a Canadian nurse who for 4 years labored in battle zones world wide, supplying medication in Bosnia, aiding rural hospitals in Africa, delivering relief to humans in want. She was once one of many first foreigners at the scene of the Mokoto bloodbath in Zaire, the place greater than 100 humans have been killed by way of machete-wielding Hutus. She spent one Christmas pinned down through Serbian heavy artillery with a troop of Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers. She immunized millions of youngsters in rural Liberia. and she or he has witnessed the short development of ethnic detoxing, looking at one village after one other wiped off the face of the earth.
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Additional resources for A Cruel Paradise: Journals of an International Relief Worker
Again, the EPI is set up so that a woman should be fully vaccinated within three years at the most. The details that needed attending were mind-boggling. I had to keep an eye on the supply of chairs, benches, pens, needles, syringes, icepacks, cotton, pails, water for washing the skin prior to injections, and about a dozen other things. I had to make sure there was rope to arrange the line-up outside the school/clinic/feeding, centre/hut/tree we were using that day. Every used syringe had to be placed in its pail, and every child had to be checked again before leaving the facility to verify that they had received their injections and their mothers knew that we'd be back in one month to continue the regime.
A case of beer that you can enjoy together after work. Having a full barrel of water in your bathroom for washing everyday. Having the water containers full, so that your drinking water has been filtered. The occasional bag of crisps or cookies around the house. Clean sheets and clean clothes. When possible, a group trip to a restaurant in town. These little things can do so much for the morale of the team. I have learned that a good cook is more precious than a good nurse. I can train a nurse to be good.
If they didn't have a vaccination card, one was issued to them so they could be brought in again for the next dose the following month. After that, any sick child was sent to the medical centre to be seen by the medical personnel. It took dozens of staff to measure and weigh each child, fill in the medical charts and enter the children's names into the ledgers. All of the staff had to be trained in the techniques for this, and one day's work required weeks of preparation. Not only did the staff have to know their work, but the community had to be contacted so that parents knew when and where they could bring their children in for treatment.