En Eye Dee

National Immunization Day! Everybody hates NID. It just sucks. The kids hate it, the parents hate it, and us health volunteers and nurses: we abhor it. I am used to kids screaming and running when I enter a compound (oh, because I’m white, and that’s scary. Imagine you are four and a green person walks into your home. That’s what I tell myself), but this time it’s not the sight of me. It’s Foazaia and her icebox of vaccines. For three days, health volunteers and nurses all over Ghana go house-to-house, squeezing cheeks of noncompliant children and dropping pink drops of polio vaccine on their terrified tongues. And then we hand them vitamin A and a dewormer and say “Denyasa! Toffee, toffee! (yummm! Candy, candy!)” By the way, in light of the rows of medicine lining most American bathrooms, telling a child that vitamins are candy is not a good idea. But here we’ll let it slide. This is all no easy feat, we have to leave the house early in the morning and spend the following six hours walking under the African sun. And then we spend the second half of the day sleeping it off. Ok, I’ll just speak-for-myself.

While I am not very fond of NID, I’ll admit it was a good time today. After spending a month in Volta and the majority of my days at the school, it was nice to be out and about in the community again. It puts things in perspective - reminds me why I am here.


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