Friday, April 07, 2006

A little bit red in the face

OK, OK, so I've had about five messages asking why it has been over a week since I last blogged... sorry, folks! I do try to be more regular than this.

But the blog heading isn't because I am red-faced over this - it's the kids... One of our little guys, Doan, has turned up with rubella, no less, and it looks like we might be standing on the brink of an outbreak. We have Doan isolated now, but it seems that the infectious period began long before he started to feel ill.

We're in an odd situation, in that we are certain our foreign volunteers (me included) are immune to rubella, but not so sure about the local staff and vols. So the job of caring for Doan to see him through the next few days has been taken up by a few of us expats, taking turns to sit with him and keep his temperature down.

It's been a bad week for the kids' health - we've had stomach bugs, cut feet, throat infections, lung infections, fevers, and of course rubella as well. The doctors at Hanoi Family Medical Practice have been amazing - thank you one and all!

The legendary Dr Bruno gave me a bit of a wake up call, though - when we took him one tiny 14 year old for some tests, Dr Bruno was stunned at the child's height and weight. I have to admit that I am no longer shocked when I see malnourished kids - we see them literally every day.

Anyway, Blue Dragon has been thinking for a while about offering a daily lunch to kids who really need it, but we've been hoping for some funding to come through. I think it's time to just start the lunches, hire a cook, and get on with it - we really can not wait any longer.

I'm off to Ho Chi Minh City this weekend to see Binh, who is doing exceptionally well with his treatment, and I'll use the opportunity to catch up with some other street kids who I know there.