Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Face to face with reality...

This morning I was once again faced with the reality of the dire health situation in this country. Just as I was heading out to go to a health task force meeting at around 930 this morning two ladies walked into the clinic. One of the ladies was holding a baby and said the child had a problem. When I looked in her arms I only saw his face. Expecting to see a child with a facial deformity like a cleft lip I was surprised to see his face looked okay. However, the child lay motionless. I quickly looked under the blanket and saw two very white little hands. There was no movement of the chest. The child wasn’t breathing. There was no heart beat. The pupils were dilated. I noticed all of this in a split second and rushed into my exam room with the child grabbing the bag and mask, realizing though that it was probably too late. It was. The story unfolded as I found out that the child was born at home at 1am this morning after a two day labor. The child had a bad start. In the early hours of the morning they took the child to a nurse who seemed to think the child would be okay. They then went to a pediatrician who for some reason didn’t see the child. Supposedly when they left there, the child took his last breath. In the hope that something could still be done they showed up on our doorstep. Too late.

Today the statistics once again became a reality to me. But for so many people in this country it is a reality day after day after day as they loose their babies, their toddlers, their teens, their brothers, their sisters, their mothers, their fathers. Sierra Leone is ranked second to last on the UN Development Index mainly due to the poor state of the medical system. Many diseases can be prevented but aren’t. Many diseases can be treated but aren’t. To me a day like this is frustrating, heart breaking, discouraging, infuriating. To those around me it is daily life.


Anonymous said...

Very tragic, and very real. I am so sorry. Just now I am learning all about those diseases and the reasons for death. To see it face to face is another story all together. Keep going Sandra, one child at a time.

Jacqueline said...

Heftig Sandra!! Toch lijkt het me ook een voorrecht om in jou schoenen te staan en te doen wat jij doet. You're amazing!! Luv Jac

Spoiled for the ordinary said...

Hey San,

Heftig om te lezen. Blijf dicht bij God in de buurt anders ga je zulke dingen niet trekken.



Unknown said...

San...I am so thankful for have such a gift of compassion and you continue to feel everyday when others might become have the heart of God.

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~