Nema: The ambulance has its first customer

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On Tuesday 30th June, after a community meeting with the district administrator, we opened the Guludo-based ambulance for service.  It’s been a bit of a slog but it’s been worth it.

nema ambulance 1

Community meeting, Assane explains the rules

Although Amina turned away a patient (rightly) who just wanted a lift home as if he wasn’t sick enough to go to hospital he was not sick enough to need an ambulance, just a few hours later we had our first real call.

A lady from Rueia had a bad hernia and was in extreme pain, and could neither walk nor talk due to the pain. We picked her up to take her to the clinic in Naunde, the nurse was prepared and a few hours later, after treatment she was able to talk and is now recovering slowly at home.

There’s been a lot of wind recently and as I walked up the road with one of the drivers this morning to see where he’d had a bit of a problem he passed one point and he said “this is where the “acompaniemente” (family member or friend on the back of the bike accompanying the patient to hospital) started to cry as she thought that the patient had died.

Sympathetically the driver had informed the acompaniemente that she would not be welcome on his ambulance again if she couldn’t hold it together!

All in all, a successful first day and good introduction: a gravely sick person got to hospital and the hospital treated her.

nema ambulance 2

The district health director tries out an ambulance

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