This week the Gakou family, who make the reins used in SAHEL bags received a visit from the Paam Laafi medical team. Partly funded by profits from bag sales, the purpose of the visit was to give the children of the village a free medical check up and medication if necessary.
The nearest town is 12km away and so the children don’t usually see a doctor unless they are seriously ill. It is a sad fact that many children die as a result of sicknesses that are easily treatable if caught in the early stages. Dr Peter Van Dingenen and two nurses saw 20 children during the visit. Only one child was not diagnosed with an illness of some sort.
The most prevalent problems were upper respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis. This is hardly surprising as it is so dusty here in the Sahel, especially at this time of year. Also common were parasites causing diarrhoea, and eye and ear infections, all of which were easily treated with antibiotics. Even something as simple as blocked ears, common here from all the dirt and dust, can progress from reduced hearing to total deafness if left untreated. This little boy was perfectly still as his ear plugs were removed by syringing.
Perhaps the most serious case was one little boy with an enlarged spleen, caused by constantly fighting malaria. A fall could have gone on to cause a rupture and death, but the problem was solved by treating the malaria.
SAHEL design is about transforming communities for the better as well as making beautiful products. We look forward to seeing more benefits for the Gakou family and their community in the future.