Freetown, Baby!

The Professionals by jc2010sl
February 9, 2011, 8:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Just when I thought I’d had my fill of the Sierra Leone health system, I was struck down with Malaria. Running a fever and feeling awful I dropped in on a doctor’s clinic for a quick blood test. First up was the comedy attempt to draw blood. After a couple of stabs into my finger, and several blood covered plastic gloves, I offered to prick myself and drop the blood onto the test paper. Malaria duly confirmed the doctor said she’d give me an injection followed by a course of tablets. After rummaging through a store cupboard that would put an untidy 14 year old to shame, the nurse pulled out some vials of colourless liquid.

She lumbered over with a needle, but before she could jab it into me I asked where the needle had come from. “It’s fresh,” she said, in a totally unconvincing fashion, “We’re professionals here”, “Well, neverless, I’d prefer if I saw where the needle came from.” After some huffing she duly produced what was indeed a fresh needle, and filled it from the vials. During the course of this a smile formed across her face, and it dawned on me that while I might be able to insist on a needle, she was going to have the last laugh.

I rolled up my sleeve to present the vein in my arm, but she waved me away. “On the bed, this will go in your boo-tocks”. Face down, pants round my ankles, my humiliation was complete. It seemed she drove home the needle with particular zeal. They then stuck me on a drip for an hour and I waited around for the doctor to give me my prescription so I could get home. After the doctor made it out, I asked where I could get the drugs “well, the pharmacy here closed an hour ago”, “you mean I’ve sat here for 2 hours while you knew what treatment I would need, and in the meantime the pharmacy has closed?” That was about the size of it. “There will be somewhere in town I’m sure.” At 8pm and groggy as hell, this was the last kind of wild goose I needed. As it happened, the first place I found was open, and even stocked the cocktail of drugs prescribed. Perhaps my luck has turned.



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made me laugh

Comment by NW1er

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