Today the long awaited, long time in planning health centre has opened (well actually it was Monday but due to lack of time and power it has taken me until now to post this). We have been planning this for eight and a half months - the whole time I have been here. Back in July last year Genesis and I started talking about the possibility of some sort of health centre or HIV centre. The next step was to get the opinions of the local people and chiefs, over 30% of people asked said the main thing this area is lacking is a health centre up to 50% said it is one of things this area is lacking. We then spent time talking to the delegate for health and other government people to see what is possible. We began compiling the paper work and searched for a building. By December we had found a building it took a few months for the previous tenants to move out then much work was needed to make the building suitable. And today it is open, we have been using the hall for HIV seminars already but now we are open for business.
A great deal of thanks must go to Didimus who has helped with the painting and helped us find a good builder after the last one ran away with a bag of cement having hardly done any of the work. A huge thank you must also go to Kidlington Baptist Church, Oxfordshire who donated money to help with the renovations and purchasing of equipment. The donation came as a great surprise to us and all of us at HINT are very grateful as we were having to cut corners on the work.
There are still some things to be done but I can currently work round them. The plumber has vanished after being given 16 000 francs to buy equipment so I currently have no running water. This means I cannot do any dressings at the moment and have to dash home to use the loo! We also need a sign board on the road to advertise our whereabouts.
Last Sunday we had a dedication service for the centre with an attendance of about 70 people, all the local people we invited including the chief so that was a great advert.
So now I am sat waiting for the first patient, I think things will be slow to begin with so I will not be discouraged. Time is needed to spread the word that we are here and offering a free service. (I got my first patient on the second day of opening, a cute little boy just over a year old, high fever. I sent him to the hospital with ?Malaria.)
So here is the after view of the reception/waiting area
And this is my office/treatment room
For a reminder of what it did look like