I called for my driver to take me to the clinic. I love this journey it’s so interesting watching life and all its visual chaos. The journey as the crow flies is about a mile but we have to go around many roads to get to the main road it seems longer. The side roads here on the Ajao Estate are dry and dusty and to say there are pot holes is an under statement. There are loads of small shops running up the edges and when there is a gap there are individuals with stalls. All selling a multitude of things, loads of water, bread, food, as well as clothes, shoes. People mending tyres, tailors with machines on there heads, people cooking all sorts from corn on the cob to meat. Hundreds of okadas darting around the cars and lorries as they zigzag around the holes and people, some of which are carrying huge loads balanced to perfection on there heads. This is all to the sound of horns blowing, to warn, to protest or to thank.
As we get to the main road (the one where I sometimes play dodge the traffic or chicken?!?!) the medical centre is just across from this point. To get there it’s a trip down the road where we do a u-turn (this seems like something that would be illegal in the UK but is perfectly OK here) on to another road that takes us over the road on a fly-over. This takes us along side another main road where we have to go another half a mile to be able to do another u-turn onto the main road. Here again is a very busy part, lots of yellow mini buses that are crammed with people. The side door are always open with a man hanging out with fingers up indicating, I assume, how many more people can be squashed into it. As with okadas’ there are hundreds of these yellow taxis and buses and hundreds of people using them to get about there daily business. We then head back the way we came but under the flyover to join the dual carriage way on the opposite side. Passing people selling yams and some well tendered road side verges that people have taken over and use to display there gardening skills, like mini garden centres. It really would be quicker to walk but I love this journey and am always amazed by different things daily.
As I get out of the mini bus and walk the about 50 metres to the medical centre, I always get hellos and welcomes from the mainly men sitting around going about there daily business. This side of the road is even poorer than the side I stay on, the side roads up to the centre are even more uneven and the building even less well kept.
On arrival to the centre I was greeted with the usual welcomes, which are always polite and courteous. Fumni was ready and waiting to go home, I removed the babies cord clamp and gave a demonstration to the nurse on how to do this. Explaining how using cord clamps and not cotton thread, when they have them, reduces the risk of infection to the baby. Also reminding them that the cord should be exposed from the nappy and cleaning and creaming etc is not needed. Simple things that in this clinic aren’t common practise. I sat with Fumni and explained the need to take it easy, she said her mother in law would be staying to help out. Her husband turned up and everyone was happy and excited that everything had gone well and at last she was going home.
The rest of the day was spent preparing for the forthcoming event that commences tomorrow. We are distributing breast cancer awareness leaflets to three areas to help promote self examination, over the next three days. Unlike our government in the UK, here there appears to be a lack of screening or health promotion programs. So awareness of health issues is something that needs addressing and this is one level that hopefully we can make a difference at. I am also looking forward to getting out among the markets and people and getting a taste of the atmosphere, rather than seeing it from the comfort of a car.