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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fighting tradition and fear...

Audrey has finally been able to meet with the lady in the Fulani Camp with a broken leg. Her report was not terribly encouraging. This incident happened a few weeks ago now, and the lady has still not been to hospital. Interestingly, her own family wanted to take her, as have other members of the community. However, the lady is so, so scared of having her leg amputated that she refuses to leave her home.

She is laying on the floor with two wooden splints and a dirty cloth wrapped around her leg. There are a lot of 'herbs' on the leg. We are told that the 'healer' came with a razor blade and made a series of incisions to 'release the blood' and to 'enable the herbs to enter'. This is a common source of infection.

Audrey tried to see the leg better, but the lady wound not permit it. There is a limit to what we can do.

Audrey will visit again next week and try to get her to join her at the hospital, having 'encouraged' community members to work on the challenge.

Sadly, the stats are not good. 70% of all broken femurs in West Africa result in death. Many others result in amputations. Normally inappropriate, late or non- treatment is a major factor. We hope that this lady will not suffer from infections and secondary complications.

This really raises the need for better education at all levels in regards to general health and to build confidence in the 'hospital' as a place where you can get help.

Our challenges appear to get bigger every day.

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