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Filippo Zambon | The state of things

One night the telephone rings. My friend Antonio, the only pediatrician of the hospital answers. I can see from his expression that something has happened. We run to the pediatric department. A kid in very bad condition has arrived. In the small hospital of Nanoro there is not enough equipment to treat him. My friend decides to take him to Ouagadougou, the capital city, with an ambulance (a ramshackle van with a big red cross painted on a side). The trip is long, two hours in the middle of the savannah, with only the light of the stars and moon to see the red color of the soil. Antonio works incessantly to keep the kid alive in front of the eyes of the parents. When they arrive at the entrance of the hospital the kid dies. Antonio enters the hospital with the kid on his arms, place him on the first bed he finds and tries a last useless attempt to reanimate him. On the same bed, there are already two small dead bodies. While leaving the hospital, Antonio notices that a kid is having some problems in one of the beds. He calls the doctor of the department and tells about the suffering kid. Both agree about the medicine to use in that situation but the doctor doesn’t start the treatment. Antonio encourages the doctor to inject the medicine before it is too late but the other replies that for that night the supply of syringe is finished. Antonio runs to the ambulance, in his backpack he finds few syringes that he brought from home.

Going back to Nanoro, in the silent night of the savannah the father of the kid thanks Antonio. They were lucky that the kid didn’t die in the hospital. Otherwise they should have paid for the transportation of the body back in the village.

The sun is raising, from the villages we can already hear the sound of the new “Floby” song.

The State of Things is a project I started in January 2010 in Burkina Faso.

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