A lot of storms were splitting the undulating landscape of Ethiopia, and even hail was beating down this rainy season.
This morning we woke up at dawn to prepare the opening ceremony. Staff were placing the chairs, signs and microphones.
I entered the room where the patients were. There was a strong smell of urine. They were 8, all sat down on their beds. They had a straight and fierce look when I was taking pictures of them. When the lens was placed on them, they were immobilized with a grace of maternal statues; a thousand of lives were skimming in their eyes. As soon as I dropped the lens to show them the pictures, they burst out laughing. The room was dark but a nice light softened by green and yellow veils was warming it.
The opening ceremony started around 11 am. It was attended by the Dean, Dr. D. Bimbaum, the Vice-president of the School of Health Dr. Abdissa Kurkie, the President of Adama University Pr. Heibert Eichelle, as well as representative from local NGOs, Dr. Khaddaj, Dr. Mulu and Dr. Ambaye from WAHA International and dozens of nurses and doctors.
Many media were also there and in front of the cameras, speeches were succeeding and insisting on the importance of an efficient medical care for fistula patients. During his speech, Dr. Khaddaj emphasized on the need of a global approach to fistula treatment but also all the other incontinence-related treatments, because incontinence doesn’t only result from a fistula.
The ceremony ended with a traditional ribbon-cutting by the President of the University and Dr. Khaddaj. The hospital scheduled 6 operations for tomorrow.
Before going back to the hotel, I heard some men crying in the courtyard, someone just died in the emergency aisle and people were gathered and crying together. The noise attracted 3 fistula patients, but as soon as they arrived they were dispelled while dozens other people were there assisting to the scene without being repressed. I kind of understood what they were going through.
Read Cyrille's Blog in Ethiopia 4 - Surgery in Assela