Azerbaijan International

Spring 2004 (12.1)
Page 134

Refurbishment of the Children's TB Sanatorium

Left: Devon has been involved with supporting the Guindes Bone Tuberculosis Sanatorium for Children in Zugulba, which is located close to the sea. This sponsorship has been going on for nearly 10 years. In 1998 (previously through its subsidiary Pennzoil Caspian) , the company completely refurbished the main building of the complex.

For nearly 10 years, Devon Energy Caspian Corporation (previously through its subsidiary Pennzoil Caspian) has been involved with supporting the Guindes Bone Tuberculosis Sanatorium for Children.

The Sanatorium is adjacent the sea, in the town of Zugulba located along the shores of the Caspian outside of Baku. In 1998, the company undertook a major refurbishment project for the major two-storied building where the children stay. The building had been privately donated for as a sanatorium in 1912 for the work of the famous pediatrician, Yevsey Guindes (1872-1954) to help children recover from bone tuberculosis.

While tuberculosis, generally is known to affect the lungs, bone tuberculosis is also prevalent in this part of the world. The disease penetrates the bones and weakens the skeleton. If the children's bones become very fragile, they often have to be confined to bed encased in plaster casts for a number of years. However, the disease is treatable with good nutrition, antibiotics and proper care. The Guindes Sanatorium is known for its dedicated and caring staff.

These days, about 140 children are currently staying at the Sanatorium. The children receive treatment and those who have parents return home after being cured. But the children who are orphaned continue to stay at the Sanatorium, even after treatment. Last year, two-year- old Orkhan was lying in a cast. This spring, at the Novruz Celebration (March 21) that Devon gives annually for the children, he was walking with ease.

For years, Devon's employees have been personally involved with this project, gathering clothes, toys, books and furniture for the center. They provide monthly food staples for the children and take pride in organizing numerous parties throughout the year for the children as well, especially at Novruz (March 21st).

Below: Recently, Devon undertook refurbishment of the smaller building that houses the younger children afflicted with bone tuberculosis. The work was carried out by ARSC Construction Company and completed in December 2003.

The refurbishment was again quite extensive and involved construction from top to bottom - from the roof to the basement. On this occasion, Devon was involved with repairing the smaller of the two buildings in the complex, where about 40 younger children are housed. These children are between the ages of two to eight years old. This building was in a very bad condition. The roof leaked, the flooring was in very bad condition, the wheels on the beds were noisy and loose.

The project began in September 2003 and was carried out by a team of professional construction workers, all employed by ARSC Construction Company. The job was completed by early December before the cold Baku winter winds begin to blow off the sea.

Devon's Founder, John Nichols, personally donated the power generator for the building. And now there is a game room where the children can play.

Devon and their staff have been so pleased to be involved with the lives of these children over the years, and to know that their presence makes a difference in the strengthening of the health and future rehabilitation and development of these children and the Sanatorium's staff.

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