Mopping up

Day four of the campaign was “mop up” and it went fairly well.  That said, the campaign only reached around 92% of the 95% that were targeted in the sub-district we’re profiling, so the clinic is spending the week tracking down the most difficult to vaccinate, in order to assure a 95 or 96% coverage rate.  Yesterday they gained about a percent-and-a-half as we filmed.

It seems other districts have come out with even sub-ninety-percent coverage, and here’s a GNA story reporting on another district’s mop up (without explicitly saying that’s what it is).

Although we’re a little sad that the Biriwa sub-district didn’t make its initial goal, we’re heartened by the redoubling of efforts taking place to ensure every child who needs a vaccination will get one.  In a few minutes we’re heading back to Baobab Clinic to cover further mop up efforts.  The photo at right was taken in Yamoransa yesterday after vaccination workers determined these kids, Sarah and Lydia, had already been vaccinated.

In other news our time in Ghana is drawing to a close.  We’re leaving for Nigeria in just over a week, and then after a short period there, leaving for the States.  Although our time here has gone to plan, it is still upsetting to me that just as we settle in, just as we become a part of the community and begin to think of Cape Coast and surrounding areas as our home — we must leave.  Although this is by design, it’s still frustrating.

Last night we were having an impromptu Fante lesson with the MTN vendor who sits under an umbrella at the junction of the street we live upon, and he was so impressed with our knowledge of Cape’s neighborhoods … it was then that it really hit me how well we’ve settled in, and how that necessarily indicates that we’re able to finish our filming and move on.  I haven’t written about this vendor before, but we see him fairly often and it makes me happy but also just a little sad to interact with him.

He’s a bright fellow, speaks English well, loves to teach us Fante, and he spends the bulk of his waking life sitting under an umbrella selling cellphone credits to people who wander by.  These sort of vendors are everywhere, and by virtue of their ubiquity I’d be surprised if each could sell even 100 credits (of $1CEDI) per day.  At the MTN store in Abura we happened to get a look at the reseller profit-margin sheet, and each seller makes about one cent per Cedi of top up they sell.

So this guy, who is always happy to see us, a literal picture of jocularity, who can converse in at least two languages, sits under an umbrella until 11pm most nights selling cellphone top-up for a penny at a time.  If he makes a dollar per day I’d be surprised.  I suppose some people would say this is the “free market at work,” or something along those lines, but to me it’s just sad — he deserves a better wage than that, and worse yet Ghana deserves his skills put to better use; he could be a teacher, rather than a human vending machine.

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