Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Packing time again.

All being well we will soon escape the rain and head for Gambian sunshine. Thomas Cook again helped us to find a great deal, which means we can visit our West African projects. Our funds are down a little so we won't be taking on any new work but we're going to make sure that we keep promises made last time. The clinics and schools, together with the on-going medical care we've already embarked on will continue to be supported. As I've mentioned before, the hardest part of this job is saying 'no' to somebody who really needs help. Whenever that happens we try to find another charity which may be able to help. Over the past years we've found who we can trust ...
 We're waiting for TC's final decision on extra baggage but we do have room for more medical tackle - reading glasses, wound dressings, Paracetamol and so on. Talking about drugs we've had a problem obtaining out anti-malarials this year. For the last fifteen years or so we've toddled along to our local surgery, been checked over by a nurse, been given a prescription and received our tablets from a pharmacy; done in a day. This year the travel clinic has closed. We put in a request for a prescription - received a 'phone call - 'That's not the way we do it! Go to your pharmacy and ask to be examined there.' We made an appointment. The Pharmacist seemed to be surprised but took full medical history, put in a request to the surgery. His request was refused - he hadn't filled in the right form. He didn't know about this new form and the surgery didn't offer him one. He consulted the other pharmacists he knew; 'What form?'
 Back he went to the surgery - they had the form! He called me, we filled the form in - all the information requested was already in the medical records held by the surgery ... we're waiting the stipulated 48 hours to find out if this time we're lucky. Comment fails me - perhaps you can guess what I'm thinking?

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