What started out as individual concern has now started to become a minor epidemic. If things deteriorate, I can see a new awful Nicholas Cage film being made about an outbreak in India.
Day 1 of this dilemma was, Monday (possibly Sunday…). Claire, a French girl here who has spent vast amounts of time here (totalling over 6 months) had an infection just above her right eye. She was worried and went to hospital. She stayed at the best private clinic in Pondicherry and I can assure you it was not somewhere you would want to stay for long. The infection got worse at an alarming rate. Claire stayed in the hospital over night and started to worry that by noon the next day she had yet to see a doctor. Nurses would come and go, but no one would tell her what was going on and all the forms were in Tamil. An operation was book for Wednesday and she was told she could see a doctor afterwards. She protested enough to be allowed to see one before. Procedure here is so different. At this point she had already forked out near to 5000 Rupees for staying at the hospital, but she was now told that she had to buy everything for the operation herself; medication, serillised gloves, etc. They do not have this at the hospital but they do give you a prescription (or list) so that you can go to a pharmacy and get it. She was put under a general aesthetic and they removed as much as they could from her face. Laura and I visited Claire on the Tuesday and I wanted to spend as little time there as I could. Balancing being polite and not staying long enough I could catch something I could die from. She has to go back every day now as the wounds need to be cleaned and infection removed.
This is where the story changes from one girl to a mini crisis. Claire had/has an infection called staphylocoque and it has spread to 2 children here, who I think are going to the hospital today for treatment. Claire did mention that one was refusing to go. We sat down today to discuss what should be done. Disinfecting the clothes and bed sheets was top of the list as was more soap by the showers. I did suggest that we could just burn the infected children but my humour was met with the same response as Simon Williams’ jokes at Kings Cross.
I’m not too sure what the next plan of action is here, it should die down, just got to be careful. If anyone is too worried, I am more than happy to start up a Hilton Pondicherry fund.
This is the only photo I managed to get at the hospital, I think it is a dialisis machine, its next to a fish tank. I wonder if they use it for the fish as well...