I guess all that’s left is to pray.” Nurse Andre was all too fond of solving all problems by contacting the Most High, but in this instance, he had to be given credit. The antibiotics had run out a week ago, but further patients didn’t know this, piling up against the surgery door.
The middle of the jungle, nightmarish heat and dozens of patients barely on their feet. Women holding elderly children in slings who, exhausted by dehydration, could no longer walk on their own.
It is only a matter of time before the staff become ill, and when they are gone, everything collapses. Who to give one of the last IV drips to?
But this is not our reality and this is not the story of our patients. We were separated from it by a few dozen Fives.
Small amounts that, when collected into a larger sum (but not at all unreasonable) this time again allowed us to prepare for the cholera when we heard the first rumours of distant outbreaks of the disease. Because that’s the key to this story – thanks to your declarations, we knew what purchases we could afford before the problem reached us.
The difference between life and death is sometimes PLN 5. It’s an amount of money that lays around in our pockets, only to end up being spent on a candy bar. Thanks to these same Fives, the hospital shelves have been filling up with doxycycline and IV drips. Doxycycline is ridiculously cheap even in Congo (DRC), but the situation gets complicated when everyone needs it at the same time. We, looking at our safe supplies, thought all the time “…how good it is that we have all this”.
We have already administered a lake of IV drips, as each patient requires 4-7 litres per day. With such rapid dehydration, it is a real battle against time, but we are winning it. You guys are winning it. The number of patients is down to three and we have no deaths. The isolation tent you purchased earlier is doing a good job. We also have access to clean, filtered water in the hospital centre – another credit to you.
Thank you for every FIVE and please – tell your friends and your family about them. Show them that there are places in the world where the PLN 5 has an inflation-proof value. That there is a place where five zloty can buy the most beautiful gift for someone. That five zloty here means life.
Give us a high-five and write only good scenarios with us!