Thursday, May 8, 2014

Welcome Packs are Starting on the Ward

There was another success today, when we gave out the first lot of welcome packs on the ward.  The welcome packs currently contain:
-small toy (donated from the recent toy drive)
-high energy biscuits (donated by a local manufacturer)
-water bottle
-cup, bowl, spoon
-hand sanitizer and soap
-numbing cream, medical tape, antibacterial mouth wash, cotton balls, sterilizing wash and alcohol swabs (patients have to buy all of these things when they're admitted to hospital)

The idea of the welcome pack is to supply the family with some of the essentials that they need for hospitalization since they often come from villages far away and don't bring anything with them.

The biscuits are to help combat malnutrition which affects 60% of the children who are newly diagnosed with cancer.

The whole pack, comes in a soft bag which can be used afterwards as a pillowcase or small backpack.

I have sponsors for some of the first two items, but am still looking for ongoing sponsorship, with the help of Helen, a Norwegian film producer, living in Dhaka. She is here with her husband who works for Grameen Phone, a large mobile phone company.

Currently the cost per bag is $14.  Our goal is to get the cost to under $5 by getting local companies to donate or subsidize the cost of certain items.  We are approaching the manufacturer of some of the items to see about getting them donated. We will need about 60-100 per month to give each inpatient a bag at the time of admission to hospital.

Do you want to sponsor some of the bags?  Contact me directly.

This is the patient's little brother who is very excited to see what is inside the kit.

This mom doesn't look older than 15...

Play Room Update

This has been a tough week as the slow speed of getting things done in Dhaka has been really frustrating. I finally had a bit of a breakthrough today, when the architectural design for the play room arrived.  Now (hopefully) I can get construction to begin.

Here is the design!  I am planning a 'volunteer' day when expats will come to help clean and paint the space after the construction is completed.  I have to remember that things are progressing, albeit slowly.  It takes about 3 times as many phone calls, meetings and 5 times as much time to get any particular task completed.  That includes everything from purchasing hand sanitizer (another story...) to prescribing morphine to getting a play room constructed.

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