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Begum Rokeya day and advent

Written by Antje on December 20th 2017 10:54

Earlier this month, on the 9th of December, was the celebration of Begum Rokeya day. A time when people remember Begum Rokeya, an advocate for women’s education and pioneer of emancipation at the beginning of the 20th century. Our focus was on the struggle against violence to and oppression of women – as you can see on the banner: “Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls.”

There was a march consisting mainly of our midwifery students and there were also speeches. This is a theme that can never receive too much attention in a country where girls sometimes can’t even go to school because it is just not safe enough, and where violence committed by a husband/father is often considered perfectly normal. The text around the frame which I am holding in the photo reads: “Zero tolerance for (gender) based violence in education.”

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It is also here the season of Advent and we are fast approaching Christmas. Part of the preparations here in the hospital grounds includes the setting up of illuminated stars above the rooves. Bamboo structures are covered with coloured paper and plastic, mounted on tall bamboo poles and positioned strategically around the site.

This is something we always do here, and it is also seen over the whole country. Wherever there are Christians you can see shining stars above the rooves as Christmas approaches.

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To finish with, some photos of the gathering-in of the rice harvest. There were severe floods in the summer and people were very concerned that the yield would be poor, but actually that was not the case. Harvest time was indeed a few weeks later than normal, but the overall quantity reaped was sufficient.

We really see the results of the delayed harvest here at the hospital – people are just too busy to attend for appointments. At the same time we treat wounds resulting from their activities: men with cut fingers and children whose fingers have been damaged in threshing machines…

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And finally, a photo of me at work and of a child with an abdominal wall defect (omphalocele) which she had since birth. We don’t usually have any doctors available to give the anesthesia, but with this child we waited until the 2-week visit of a medically qualified anesthetist. During the operation to close the abdominal wall, it turned out that the entire liver lay outside of the abdominal cavity and it was very difficult to push it inside. Very worrying if something would kink after the liver and bowel had been forced back in. Happily it all turned out fine and the child was able to go home after a week. In the course of time, the mesh I used to close the abdomen will need to be removed, but that won’t need to be for a couple of years.

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