Herbs To Calais - Day 3

Date: 24/03/2016 Posted by: Dafydd Monks

The last day of 3 days here... on Triage dealing with front line examination

What a busy day - whereas the first two days I'd been working in the first aid caravans giving front-line treatments, today I was on triage: directing patients to caravans for front-line treatment, writing referral forms if they needed, or handing out cough syrup, cough toffies, paracetamol, vapour-rub, etc., to those with minor complaints. Of course, some were less than minor. But you have to ask question as part of the triage process.
So for instance, someone who'd been coughing for 1-3 days would just get syrup + cough toffies. Longer term, I'd take temperature and perform a respiratory exam to rule out bacterial infection, etc. I think that I wrote 10 or so referral forms for the 'Salaam' clinic for infections. 2 or 3 for suspected pneumonia, 2 or 3 for bronchitis, and the rest for laryngitis and tonsillitis.

Lots of scabies. These got referred to the 'Salaam' clinic also. (In France, Scabies is a notifiable disease).

Loads of people wanting tissues - either on their own or with Vicks on it. Some wanted whole packets and got quiet pushy if you didn't give them. Later, I worked out that they wanted them to wipe their backsides.

As before, it is the Children that most made a mark on me. Some say there are no women and children here - it's just rowdy young men. Most of these opinions come from arm chairs of those who watch Sky news or read the Daily Fail. Let me tell you again: There are indeed women and children here. I managed to surreptitiously take a photo of one little lad who couldn't have been any older than 5. Faces in this picture are blurred for their own protection as people-traffickers are known to operate in the camp.

Clinically, it was less interesting than the first two days, but it was still very necessary and a rewarding thing to do. We finished earlier at 16:30 to catch the ferry back. I must admit, going from the 'Jungle' to a P&O ferry (Via the bathroom to change and wash) was almost surreal.

The final article from this trip will be available after a few days when I have had a much needed rest. I'll detail what donations I spent and on what, and discuss this trip in more abstract context - what it means and planning for my next trip.