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Time journey through island health


"Itís a girl," a nurse in operation theatre greens told Ibrahim Fulhu through the half open door, "both mother and baby are doing fine." Ibrahim Fulhu heaved a sigh of relief, thanking Almighty Allah for the happily changed circumstances in his life.  As his eyes wandered across an almost endless stretch of spotlessly clean white tile leading on to an immaculately kept flowerbed, his mind traveled into the past.    

It was 22 years ago almost to the day. That day too he was sitting in a veranda. But unlike this one, it had shabby benches and a broken floor that looked across the barren landscape of Nolhivaramfaru leading to the beach where a harsh sun beat unrelentingly on the glaring white sand. There was not a spot of green. Even the famous laami (banyan) tree didnít have a single leaf.

Hospital Entrance

Kuludhuffushi Regional Hospital: The gateway to modern health for the residents of the three Northern atolls

When health assistant Hussein Ali came out of the small room that served as the health centre, his lowered eyes told everyone that the news was bad. In a halting voice he started explaining.

"We really donít have much we can do here for a difficult pregnancy. I couldnít save the baby. But you are lucky; at least Fathmath would live. But she may have a problem with leaking urine. Perhaps that could be treated abroad... Till she is fit for the sea journey to Male, I will treat her with whatever medicines available here... Unfortunately we havenít had any supplies for sometime...."

Ibrahim Fulhu sat silent staring at the barren laami tree.....


The hospital prides itself on being spotlessly clean  

22 years and thousands of rupees worth of medications later, Fathmath has still not recovered fully from the trauma she received that day. But the next year they got a healthy bay girl, who has now grown into a woman and who is now in the operation theatre. 

Flower Bed

Patients in the ward have a pleasant view that helps brighten their mood  

When the trained Foolhuma in Baarah told Hafeeza she should go to the regional hospital for delivery, Ibrahim Fulhu felt as if someone was trying to rewind his past and replay it again. But as soon as his dhoni weighed anchor at Kuludhuffushi jetty he felt his unease disappearing, and as his daughter was sped off towards the Regional Hospital in an ambulance, he knew things would be different this time.

Looking at the white and green building of Kulhuduffushi Regional Hospital, Ibrahim Fulhu could feel the rapid pace of health development in these islands. Unlike the situation on that sultry afternoon 22 years ago, today he is in a 50-bed hospital, where specialists in gynaecology and surgery are available full time. Automated laboratory tests, X-rays and ultrasound support them. Medicines are available just across the road in four or five pharmacies. 

22 years ago this type of facilities were not available even in Male, Ibrahim Fulhu thought.