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Travel report 11th to 28th April


All of us: Eva, Adrian, Gudrun and Roland arrived safely back home on Tuesady, 29th April, at home. All, what we want do, worked out at last.

Arrival on the 11th April


At the Munich Airport it's exciting again: Gudrun brought along her explosive material, but it turned out after a short time to be the insulin pump. "No Photography" they shouted at me at once, but a corresponding sign on this place i'm missing! Is there a law that I do not know?

Our travel was without difficulties, arrival in Yundum/Banjul/The Gambia was in time. Dr. Gaye picked us up from the airport, and Anja received as in the Bakotu Hotel. We must unpack all, to prepare the things for the next day - and we must note, the time is 2 hours ahead!


Saturday, 12th April


On Saturday morning we went straight to the Pakala Clinic, because 16 people with type 1 diabetes were invited to make the usual measurements (HbA1c, weight, blood sugar). Jim and Eliman with Gudrun in the laboratory, Eva and Adrian have paid out the fare, and with the support of Aminata I read out the saved datas from the blood sugar meters, and documented all.


Sunday, 13th April


Today we have let us go really well. Anja we met at the beautiful and tranquil beach in Tanji, and spent the day there ..


Monday, 14th April


The first preparations for the Summer Kamp had to be made. In the Pakala clinic we picked up the projector and flipchart. With Dr. Gaye we are gone through the program again, because he should give a lecture on Wednesday against 10 a.m., about diabetes late complication.
In the afternoon we went with Mr. Kwamla Elliott to Fajara to Mrs. Gifty Taylor-Thomas. She should cook our lunch and dinner for at least 15 people, from Tuesday evening to Friday evening. It seems all the best. In the empty house of Kwamlas sister we had a large room with chairs and a large table. To estimate the distance to the hotel, we walked from Fajara to Bakotu. "Only" about 20 minutes to walk, great!


Start of the 1. gambian summer camp in the Bakotu


Poster "Hearly welcome" painted from Gudrun


Here you can have a look on the program of the first gambian summer camp with diabetics:

pdf-Dokument [345 KB]

Tuesady, 15th April


Today, the first Gambian type-1 summer camp has started!
In the morning we took our breakfast comfortably, and then we started to prepare the seminar room M1 (we had the whole block M in the hotel, M2 to M6). Preparing the projector and flipchart, build up the laptop, learning materials, exercise books, pens, the new Becton Dickinson 4mm insulin needles and the lipohypertrophy bag, enough test strips, Accu-chek active, etc., everything was set up.
We wanted to start at 5 p.m.
Adama Lowe was the first of the diabetics, she came by 2 p.m. From 4 p.m. the others came, about 4.30 p.m. the group was able to relate the room. From the elders each one has taken a younger one into the room. At 5.30 p.m. we started, discussed the program, and we have started with the self-control. Aminata arrived at 7 p.m., she still had take care for her sick father.


For our dinner we started walking from Bakotu, about 20 minutes, a good way to make extra exercise! Before that, a blood sugar check again, documenting everything.
After the arrival, again a blood sugar check...Spread plates and cutlery, Aminata and Isatou had distributed the prepared food. There was Chicken Yassa, salad with vegetables and noodles. Checking the carbohydrates in the food, deciding the insulin dose and injecting, starting with the meal...Uiiii, in a group of 10 Typ1 peaople a lot of work. We don't want to make everything wrong, and no one should get a low blood sugar. Even before the responsibility was very clear for us we had taken. Amie Jobe, heavily pregnant, should come to us only on Wednesday morning.
About 9.30 p.m. we were back at the hotel, all still sitting together, by 11 p.m. we are all tired and went to bed.


Wednesday, 16th April


At 9 clock we met for breakfast together. No hypos, uffff! Measuring blood sugar, we documented all, check bread, injecting, eating. Amie Jobe, daughter of Ngoneh, just 16 years old, is heavily pregnant, she came to accompany our education. At 10 a.m. we are fairly started on time in the workshop. Alieu gives a lecture about the principles of the project, and after that about the diabetes late complications. 15 minutes break. My part came. all aspects of the self-control, everything as simple as possible with pictures and flipchart, i don't want to overburden anybody. BE/KE/10g sugar / carbohydrates / glucose.
Incidentally, we had a prominent lady in our group: the world's best sumo wrestling lady in the world, Sharron Alexander from UK (googled it but sometimes ...).
After lunch (fish, rice, cabbage) we continued with food cards (from the training program), many discussions, some people supposed to have to inject insulin for butter and cheese?
Why Sirra and Ramatoulie have so high values​​, we cannot understood. Adama too.
Continuing with the next topic, HbA1c, and structured measuring blood sugar ...
In the evening our food was fish, beans and cassava, everything was great in taste. Uiii, Adama has a Juniorpen from Novo, and she counts the clicks instead and not the setted units...So 15 clicks are only 7,5 units, hmm. Learned?
In the evening we looked together 4 films from the "Changing children in Diabetes Program". After that we sit together, and later we went to bed.


Thursday, 17th April


On Thursday, for the breakfast together, we put three different types of bread on the table. Two varieties we had to buy ourself: Tabalabba and the "normal" bread. In the hotel there was just bread roll. All were weighed, and the result was a bit surprising. The double roll weighing about 110g , the Tabalabba about 155g, and the baguette 200g , wherein the length of Tabalabba is half as large as the length of the baguette. Much knowledge for all...
Not simple, for one double bread roll you must injedt 5U , initially nobody believed that. But is has worked. All values ​​were below 10 mmol/l , what a success.
Muhammed's insulin pen smelled of insulin, the ampoule was broken somewhere... exchange was due.
With the theme "insulin, injection sites, different kind of insulins and their effect" we were busy all day. For the group it was very interesting: the lipohypertrophy suitcase by BD. During the inspection of the of the injection sites (Gudrun the ladies , Roland the men) we already discovered on Adam's belly an injection site fat knot.
In the afternoon we have set out the theme "What is my own problem".


At 6 p.m. we finished the day, and just the idea was born to hop in the pool... No one in the group could swim, and so Gudrun and the water-shy Roland must go into the water...

Honestly, it was a great experience for all...


Eva's Cap Shop


And during the workshop ran from Tuesday to Saturday, Eva supplied about half the population with self crocheted caps...


Good Friday, 18th April


In the morning we took advantage to repeat a lot. Now anybody shall each determine his goal, this was noted and documented.
In the afternoon Nancy came from the Pakala Clinic, and we discussed about diabetes and Ramadan. Interesting, how different the fasting month is handled! Dr. Gaye then lectured the subject diabetes/sports/movement.
Anja submitted on the diabetic foot syndrome, with pictures, and some had to look away...
Again in the hotel pool, for all a lasting event.
At 7.30 p.m. we went to our last dinner together, Tabalabba with vegetable plate. The girls have divided all as well.
Until late into the night we sat together.


Now you can have a look, which aims we have setted for us....

What is my problem? – Self defined aims

name/ Hba1c April 14/ estimated July/ my problem I want to improve

Amie C./ 8,0/ <8,0/ testing
Amadou B./ >14,0/ not >14,0/ testing and injecting how much
Isatou J./ 12,3/ <10,0/ testing, special bag for insulin/meter?, all together
Muhammed W./ >14,0/ 10-12/ testing and injecting how much
Lamin D./ 8.5/ 8,0/ avoid hypos, testing, injecting the right dose
Adama L./ >14.0/ 10-11/ wonjo juice and baobab juice and ice without injection. ebbeh, injection!!, measurements
Lamin B./ 7,5/ <7,0/ better values after meels
Aminata J./ 7,7/ about 7,0/ fBg more down, pay att. evening levels, very nice bag (insulin, meter…)
Sirra J./ 8,7/ <8,0/ special bag to take meter pens etc, eat too much Mango/season
Ramatoulie/ J. 11,3/ about 9,0/ special bag to take meter pens etc, eat too much Mango/season
Amie J./ 8,2/ <8,0/ testing, pregnancy, I’m too young
Gudrun/ 6,2/ 6,2/ more english and avoid hypo
Adrian/ needs to learn English
Roland/ stop smoking, more exercises

(Ajie Mamie Gaye is in Sweden now)


Easter Saturday, 19th April


We had to wait over 1 hour for the breakfast, a flight connection was lost, and the hotel was full. Final discussion, adoption, departure!
The conclusion:
Everyone was thrilled and said they learned a lot... especially the BE's (carbohydrates...) in the rice and bread...
All have promised to achieve their goals... and would like to repeat workshop...
There are eaten tons of rice and bread...
At home and at school wonjo-juice (hibiscus) and baobab-juicesaft some of them drunk (homemade with lot of sugar), but no injection of insulin...
Amie Jobe don't need no mealtime insulin for 3 months in her pregnancy...
All had acceptable blood sugar levels after these 5 days...
And us, it has also made "fun", and the Toubab-group has also learned...

Am Freitagabend


The next measurements of the CT group in the Pakala Clinic were prepared, we have made ourselves on the way at 10.00 a.m.
Demba Bojang , me i brought him to the Pakala Clinic in November, he was accompanied by his two brothers Kalifa and Karamo, all three boys have type 1 diabetes (both were previously in RVTH in treatment, but there were no more insulin...).
About 4.30 p.m. were back, a little bit frustrated by the results of HbA1c values​​.
Our not entirely new finding: a functioning CT therapy is not possible, because of the living conditions in the families. Late breakfast of the students in the morning, or none at all, late lunch, often by 3 p.m., possibly even later. Dinner in many families in the night, 9 or 10 p.m., how you can adapt mixed insulin 30/70?? And then yet the vast amounts of bread and rice, which are eaten...

From the 32 people with diabetes we saw at this time, we have measured HbA1c , 21 are injecting CT. From those, two results were about 8,5%, five results were about 13%, and fourteen results were >14%, (14% is an average of more than 21,1 mmol/l...), crazy...


Easter Sunday, 20th April



Easter Sunday has become for us a sad day.
In the morning at 8 clock Muhammed Willan has called us, and told that his father has just died! He has lost his mother just last year! In the morning, we all went in the family to grieve with them.
Muhammed has lived with the family in Bundung / Serrekunda, in a rented compound. He has two small brothers, who now have to leave to the Senegal with the oldest brother of the father. With his two older sisters he will relocate during the week to the stepmother to Lamin, and go to a different school from October.


Easter Monday, 21th April



We had decided to visit James Island. The island in middle of the Gambia River, from which several hundred years ago the slaves from Africa were shipped to some countries in the world. In the morning at 8 clock we started, to Banjul to the ferry (there is a new ferry, just 25 minutes crossing the river). From Barra a few miles on a paved road, and then on a "Dancing Road" for the next 25 kilometers to Juffureh. With a boat we went to the island with a guide, and visited the ruins there (interesting: 300 years ago James Island was 3 times larger). Back to the shore, after that we visited the interesting museum there, and then back Is a 12-hour trip.


Tuesday, 22th April


So, where was our container? We couldn't ask about the Easter holidays. In the morning i had a phone call at DB Schenker in Stuttgart, arrival was on Easter Sunday at 8.10 p.m. Alhage Sanyang was informed, he couldn't say yet when the container comes out of the harbor. So, we've been waiting all day, and at 5.30 p.m. it was time, the truck drove up to Kwamla's house in Bijilo.
Unloading no problem with so many helpers, Alieu Badjie waited with us... It was already dark by the time we were done.


Wednesday, 23th April


In the morning, after breakfast, we went to the store, making piles, sorting the material for Arafang, for the family Manneh from Susanne in Brikama, and some things for Aminata Jammeh. The truck from Kwamla we couldn't use, his driver Yahya had died of TB last year. A replacement driver was not to be found. We have crammed the taxi from Abou, the bigger material had to wait.

Arafang's Farm runs quite well, he want to start with laying hens in addition to the chicken, and again he want to grow peanuts. In the Manneh family in Brikama the salad thrives, whose seed Susanne has brought in January. And Aminata lives in a large family in Kuloro.

Sorting in the store

Arafang's Farm

Visiting the Manneh family in Brikama

With Aminata in Kuloro


Thursday, 24th April



And we do hurry in the store. Alhage, who had organized our container at the port, got the chair from Gerd from Stetten, and baby scales for the hospital. Some of the children's clothing and toys we have given to the SOS Children's Village.
For Amie Colley we had brought along some cotton material and children's clothing, and at first we went to her, then, in the afternoon, to the Jallows in Labakoreh (see travel report November 2013).
Our association took care with financial support, that the family could continue to built. The roof and the inner walls were completed in February. With financial assistance of Hilde and Sepp they can finished the house, and since end of March it was ready, and the entire family now lives at the old spot.
In the evening we cleared the store in Bijilo, and the remaining things we brought into the hotel.

Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital

Amie Colley in Abuko

Visiting the Jallow's in Labakoreh


Friday, 25th April


Today I visited Medina Jarjue with her family, she almost could die three weeks ago. With her ​​father she had been in the Cassamance, getting sick there (?), and her father had forbidden her to take the insulin. In time Medina came to the Pakala Clinic. She had lost 10 kg weight...
In the late morning i visited Fatou Njie (she's the second chairman of the Sukuta-diabetic group), in order to give her the donation of Hilde and Sepp.
And Muhammed got his promised mobile phone.
In the course of the afternoon we distributed the remaining container material, mostly at the hotel. One thing today is newsworthy: as we distributed the material, it escalated in 30 seconds. Initially 4 employees came from the hotel to the place. Suddenly the room was full, and all of them gathered up, including our digital camera. After a great 10-minute palaver and phone calls they had found the person, who packed the camera. Now we have it back again!!


Saturday, 26th April


We started ourselves to Banjul, and took a visit to the mother of Dr. Gaye.
Just around the corner Ngoneh family is living. Ngoneh, the mother of Amie and Ndey Fatou, was the first with diabetes we met on our first trip to Gambia in February 2003. She died of kidney failure (late complication of diabetes) in February 2014.
Amie Jobe, 16 years old, is pregnant, and she'll get her baby in the next few weeks. We hope the best for both. Kutai don't go to the clinic for the second operation for his eye...
For dinner, we were invited in Eliman's compound.


Sunday, 27th April


Gudrun took care of a number of glucose measurements in the hotel surrounding. Later Dr. gaye came, and we discussed about the "Project", which is actually no longer a project...There are no defined limits, and it grows and grows. Mixtard will no longer be available in a few year, and he means, and he would like to go towards ICT. Ebrima Mendy, he told us, came with a ketoacidosis two days ago into the clinic, and Dr. Gaye paid the infusions of his own pocket...
Auah (our wheelchair lady) came tonight. Her oldest daughter is now with the father in Senegal. Auah broke her left foot, someone has pushed her, and she fell out of her wheelchair . The money for a surgery she has now...
Kwamla came to pick up his music instruments, organized by Christine from Stetten. He was very happy, because he wants to found a band in the United Methodist Church in Banjul.
With Ibrahim and Aminata (she has brought the two wigs ) and Lamin Badjie we had our farewell dinner at the Paradise .


Monday, 28th April



In the last days the num,ber of tourists decreased, and in the Bakotu Hotel we were only 8 guests. Even outside it's been very quiet, because tomorrow the season goes to the end. By the end of October, almost all hotels in Kotu stay closed, and of course the shops. Time to pack your baggage...
Breaking News:
Amie Jobe, the daughter of Ngoneh, has born a baby boy on Saturday, 10th May.


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