Thursday, July 10, 2008


Bushman Cave Paintings

For the last 5 days we have been in Swaziland. This is a small "Kingdom" on the borders of South Africa and Mozambique. They have a "King" and a Queen Mother the " elephant queen" of this country. I don't know if I would like the title of elephant queen if I was a ruler! The new king is the youngest and only son of one of the many wives of the previous king. He was said to had have 44 wives. The new king takes his place when he dies. This new king has 14 wives so far. He has to choose wives from the different tribes/ families in his country. It is a beautiful country with mountains and lots of forest, and lakes. They are known for the bushman painting that were done in caves thousands of years ago. These have been protected and preserved and the doctor went see them while I was teaching classes. We went there with a group from Salt Lake City to teach infant recessistation to the midwives and nurses. The teaching hospital provided us with 4 of their teachers to help us. 1,000,000 infants will die each year in third word countries because of the lack of knowlege and equipment to help these babies take their first breath of life. 95 % could be saved with the knowlege and equipment. The midwives deliver all the babies and the doctor is only called for c-sections! Each day we had approximately 45-50 midwives that learned how to recessitate "infants" we had black baby dolls to practice on. These midwives in tern will teach the other nurses and midwives the proper procedures at their facility. After completely the course their hospitals and clinics were provides with the Teaching Kits ( we called this our baby in a bag) as it contained a baby, ambu bags and masks, stetascopes, bulb syringes, blankets , towels, and training equipment all in a duffle bag. All the hospitals and clinics also received additional equipment for their delivery rooms. 60 huge boxes were shipped in before we got there. I should mention here that we also provided them with big clock with a second hand so they could count the heart beats of the newborns. Batteries were included! Most of the facilities didn't even have clocks in the delivery rooms.I met many dedicated wonderful hardworking men and women who deliver these infants all by themselves in most cases. They must take care of the infant and the mother without any back up help! Because of the Aids epidemic this country has lost more than 1/3 of the population in the last 10 years. Ten years ago this countries population was 1.2 million today it is 900,00 . Most of the people that die from Aids are in the age range of 20-40 years old. Just recently they have started Aids awareness campaigns and condoms are freely given out. What a shock to us to find that free condom dispensers are on all the counters of fast food resturants, gas stations, grocery stores, and bathrooms and even in our hotel room . At least this country is trying to save their population!

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