By Kathy Mueller, Canadian Red Cross
 
Bashiir sits upright on his cot inside a crowded cholera ward.Bashiir sits upright on his cot inside a crowded cholera ward. “It is the first time I am sitting like this in a long time,” says Bashiir. “With my illness, I could not sit, I could not stand. For three days and three nights, I was vomiting. My entire body was aching. Those were black days.”
 
Bashiir is at a treatment centre in eastern Africa for acute watery diarrhea/cholera set up by the Canadian Red Cross, with support from the Government of Canada. He was admitted suffering from severe dehydration, hooked up to an IV, his body eagerly accepting more than eight litres of the vital nutrients since he arrived a few hours ago.
 
“Now, I am morally and mentally and physically happy. I can’t wait to go home.”
 
Home is approximately 400 kilometres away, but Bashiir, 45, hasn’t seen it in 13 months. Up until recently, he was an inmate at the local prison, released with others, he says, when a diarrhea outbreak started passing through the population. “I can’t measure what it was like being in prison,” says Bashiir. “But that is now behind me. I am feeling better, thanks to the good care from the people here at the treatment centre. I now look forward to going home and living my life as a farmer.”

Read more about our efforts during the ongoing drought and famine.