DIB BAHIR – AMHARA REGION OCT 2013

DIB BAHIR is located in the lowlands of the Simeon Mountains, 18 km from Debark. The elevation is 1950m, the climate is sub-tropical with an average October temperature of 20° and cold at night. The population is said to be approximately 5,000.

EFA and The volunteers arrived at the Dib Bahir school grounds, where 800 children attend. Adu Nigussie our local tour guide, had set up our tent accommodation and camping facilities. The Health Centre was located a 300m walk down an unmade road passing houses made from sticks and cowpats, passing lots of children walking unaccompanied, and cows and goats.

We began by cleaning the Health Centre with 70% alcohol and bleach and unpacking our supplies. Local health authorities had erected a very large tarpaulin shelter for the local people to rest whilst awaiting screening by EFA.

Adu and his team prepared vegetables for meals each day.

Locals and EFA volunteers all came together most nights to dance Ethiopian style to the beat of a drum (empty water container) YAHHOH!!

We set up a secluded area in the bushes to hang the solar shower bag.
We found a use for a broken metal chair found in the Health Centre - to place over the squat toilet!

OUTCOMES - EIGHT OPERATING DAYS
Patients screened 600
Cataract surgeries 71
Tarsal Plate Rotation surgeries 20
Pterygiums, with conjunctival autograft 5
Reading glasses - 84 pair

Seventeen patients returned the next week for post-op check. There were no post-op complications.

Two pairs of +10 glasses were prescribed for patients
And supplied by EFA
Dib Bahir midwife escorted parents with their nine month old baby to Gondar Hospital for baby’s bilateral cataract operation.
Reported to be successful

CONCLUSION

At conclusion of clinic, EFA provided photocopies of fifty two patients’ surgical details tour local cataract surgeon, together with drops for post-op patients. He reported that all patients returned and their post-op checks were satisfactory.

EFA donated three light globes for the Ophthalmic Microscope at Debark Hospital and four disposable Simcoe instruments.

On the final day, local school boys made floral posies from local yellow Meskel daisies and purple Bougainvillea. These posies stood up in a circle on the ground and were hung from the trees, in a cleared, grassed area under the trees in the local school ground.

The Mayor gave a speech, via a translator, thanking the volunteers for our dedication to eye care in their remote village. The Mayor said he was so appreciative because EFA volunteers have been the only charitable health team ever to offer aid in their village.

Certificates of Appreciation from the villagers, written in Amharic, was presented to Julie and Adu.

The closing ceremony was attended by Senior women, men and children and a Lute player performed for us all to dance. We all joined in the celebrations, and drank fermented Barley wine together. The celebrations continued into the night, all dancing around the bonfire.