This morning we all split into groups. Most went to hospitals and clinics. I went to clean wounds at the leprosy clinic. Its a village where cured leprosy sufferers live. They were shunned by the community and families and abandoned due to the spiritual significance leprosy is thought to have. I feel so sad being there. I dont understand why the village needs to be advertised as the 'cured lepers village'. Segregating them just reinforces the stigma. I want to paint over the sign and rename the village. They have wounds. They are not demons, aliens or unworthy.
When we got there, some of the residents were waiting. We cleaned the wounds with hydrogen peroxide and i could feel it slowly seeping through my gloves. There wounds are so deep, look painful, fresh and cause abnormality. Some cannot walk. Although it apprently doesnt hurt - one mans wound i cleaned fid hurt him. He was crying but told me to carry on. It was so deep. When id finished he said thankyou and was so lovely. It hurts me to think of what tey have experienced in there life and how t mst feel to be a village in the middle pf nowhere. We clean the wounds 3 times a week but it seems impossible to heal them due to the village conditions. I feel its more about maintaining the infections. I was careful to dress the wounds as well as i could and so they could still put on there shoes.
We then did a home visit to some of those not mobile. One of the ladies couldn't walk and we watched her crawl along the floor to sit for her wounds to be dressed. I wanted to help her and i felt ashamed that we all just stood there watching her struggle but its what we had to do. Her room was immaculate and she is hardly mobile and her hands are very deformed. I feel embarrassed about the not great state of my flat.. The socks she were wearing were flying cows. The same socks i have. I told her in ewe i like her socks. She laughed. Its things like that which make you realise how similar you are. There human too. They have likes, dislikes and why not. You have to remember the person your treating and not just the body and how shocking the wounds are. I feel ashamed those people were/are treated as they are.
I also wonder how they feel about having constant new faces cleaning there wounds. A person in the group put a camera right in front of the person to take a photo of the wound. I felt embarrassed. A bit like they were a freak show. As much as i wanted a picture i had to think how i would feel if someone were to take photos of a part of my body i wasn't quite happy about.
In the afternoon, well more evening, we painted a school. Everything is hours later than scheduled in true ghanaian style i guess. We ended up painting in the dark though...
We went to the bar in the evening.. Seems to be coming a bit of a pattern. Why i decided to do a double shot I'm not sure. But its 30p for a double..