Monday, October 05, 2009

Medecins Sans Frontiers - Refugee Camp in Your City

Medecins Sans Frontiers set up a refugee camp in Treasury Gardens to educate Melburnians on their refugee work efforts. I applaud them for their efforts after a short visit to their ''camp'' last Saturday. The volunteer that guided us was very helpful, and he knew a lot of stuff!

Plastic mock up of a mine. Really deadly to refugees, especially children when they're on the run from government / rebel soldiers.

Its really hard to keep track of the mines, since they're not easily detectable after they've been buried underground.

Some basic cooking items are used in camps, even if they're badly rusting away.

An eleborate version of a refugee camp, with large plastics to keep the the tent from being wet. Supposedly this tent can accommodate 6 people!

A basic toy car assembled from discarded materials. Toys R Us doesn't exist in refugee camps, unfortunately. Next to it is a makeshift chair. Perhaps its a bit too small for adults, but it works for kids at least..

The World Health Organisation has determined that a simple meal of rice, barley and other grains are sufficient to maintain the health of an adult person.

The calories in this food is equivalent to a bar of muesli, or some biscuits with spreads. Hardly enough to keep me alive, but for some, its all that they can afford.

This is supposedly a basic toilet with a hole dug in the ground. In reality, it would be 4 poles with a plastic sheet covering all around it. Its purpose is to prevent water borne diseases from the stools, which may occur if heavy rains are a norm.

Some medical tools in use to research local diseases in third world countries, eg. malaria and tuberculosis.

It's hard to maintain hygiene for medical equipment in the field, but necessary nontheless.

Some items used for vaccinating the local population. Sometimes, at least a 1000 people may be vaccinated daily, and it helps to save thousands of lives which may be wiped out by a disease unknown to us in developed countries.

A hammock used to determine the level of malnutrition in babies / small kids by measuring their weight.

A tag is wrapped around their arm. If its red, the child is malnourished, and immediate steps must be taken, or else he / she may die.

The plumpy nuts food nourishment packs contain lots of nutrients necessary for the child's survival, and may be consumed on the spot without any preparations required.

Stepping into a chlorine bath before entering the cholera ward.

Cholera is a disease which may cause death within 24 hours if the patient is not rehydrated. Its a water-borne disease too, hence the water thats supplied to the camp must be certified to be fit for drinking to avoid an outbreak.

Medecins Sans Frontiers has definitely pulled off a huge success with their Refugee Camp in Your City Program. The camp's held for another week, so do pay them a visit at the Treasury Gardens if you're free. I highly recommend it !




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