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Tacos in the plaza
Tacos in the plaza
Comments: 1
Peter Calvin

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Description: A program by doctors of the world to help mothers and children suffering from malnutrition.

After a three-hour walk, Luisiano, three months old, wrapped in his mother?s cloth and all red from the clay-trail, finally gets to the health station of Cambuengo. The baby with a hagard look suffers from marasmus, a form of severe malnutrition. According to Rui, the supervisor of the nutrition center in Mungo for Doctors of the world, ?Luisiano must quickly be taken to the therapeutic nutritional center in Bailundo which treats the most severe cases.? The center in Mungo only treats moderate forms of malnutrition. Rui must argue at length in umbundu, the native language, to convince Raquel, Luisiano?s mother; she will have to leave her home, her land and her other small children during almost a month.

Before obtaining their premix ? a mixture of soja flour, corn and beans mixed with oil and sugar ? as well as fouba for the child and a bag containing a variety of food, the beneficiaries must attend a palestra, a course on malaria, hygiene, nutrition... given by angolese nurses.

Reconstruction ? Some new buildings can be seen on the Ilha, this narrow Luanda coastline. Building projects that hardly conceal a devastating standstill. Despite considerable rich natural resources (oil and diamonds in the north) and the return of peace, the country remains in a dead-end. Economy ruined by the appara tchiks of this socialist state and by the western countries, corruption, laminated roads, families torn apart, health programs afloat, malaria, malnutrition.

The picture would not be complete if we omit the 12 million mines disseminated all over Angola, almost as many as the population of the country, which delay any idea of reconstruction. Heritage of a conflict that has killed more than half a million people who haunt the nights of the survivors.

On the highlands of Planalto, formerly the granaries of Angola, awakening is painful. The inhabitants hesitate between fatalism and trust in the future. The small town of Bailundo is falling in ruins, as well as its hospital with its shattered windows and pierced roof allowing the rain to pour in. The exorbitant prices of basic materials, such as concrete or sheet metal. Same picture of desolation in Mungo. Indeed old town Unita now has electricity as well as a motor tractor. Only problem: the brand new engine and the land cultivated belong to the police commanding officer.
Angola suffers from not moving ahead. Corruption, disastrous roads, expensive transportation, hamper the straightening up of the economy and health structures. Since 2002, Doctors of the world brings medical aid to a fragile population.

Text: Guillaume Plassais Journalist
Keywords: lehr-st?phane, Angola, children, streets, humanitarian, Africa, topicality, interactive, visit, photographs, documentary, discovered, photo-report, hunger, malnutrition, journalist, journalism, AIDS, neuro-graph
Date: 08.01.2006 20:52
Hits: 5162
Downloads: 0
Rating: 4.00 (1 Vote(s))
File size: 172.8 KB
Added by: Stephane Lehr

L’association a réhabilité les locaux pour les consultations, la pharmacie et le laboratoire, puis construit une dépendance pour abriter douze lits d’hospitalisation. Hormis la formation des personnels (promoteurs de santé et parteiras, les sages-femmes traditionnelles…), il a fallu recruter des mobilisateurs angolais : « Nous leur prêtons des vélos afin qu’ils préviennent les aldeas les plus lointaines de notre présence. Pour nous, leur travail est crucial pour atteindre toutes les populations et comprendre leurs besoins. »
Au total, une centaine d’Angolais ont été formés à Mungo. Dont soixante-six ex-Unita : une priorité pour l’association, car l’intégration de personnels des deux camps participe de la réconciliation nationale et de la pérennisation du travail engagé. Selon Nuria infirmière, le niveau de connaissance était très bas. Conséquence : l’hygiène médicale s’avérait catastrophique. « Une seringue pouvait servir plusieurs fois puis les infirmiers les jetaient dans une fosse où les enfants venaient s’amuser. » Quant aux parteiras ( sage femme), elles coupaient le cordon ombilical des nouveau-nés avec une lame de rasoir usagée ou un couteau de cuisine. La formation et l’organisation sont toutefois fondées sur l’écoute : « La motivation et l’échange de compétences (intégration des techniques traditionnelles, par exemple) sont les clefs de la réussite. » confirme Tatiana Farfan, sage-femme, qui forme les infirmières parteiras à Bailundo.

Date created: 17/08/04
Country: Singapore


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