Healthcare gets new perspective.

2010 July 26
by Cindy House

Have you complained about your healthcare lately?  Before leaving the United States, I heard the topic spoken of often in nearly every area of life.  May I offer you a fresh perspective on the gift of good healthcare enjoyed in my homeland.  Since arriving in Malawi, I have had several occassions to take people to the District Hospital here in Ntcheu or to the Family Planning Clinic, which is used as a general heathcare clinic.  Assessments are based on the patients complaints and rarely are further questions asked to dig deeper because that would mean you might have to treat the patient for something else.  The system is understaffed and those staff members are overworked and I mean in a whole new playing field than you can imagine.  If a person seeks help there really is no time to do a full examination because there are numbers of other people waiting to be seen so they are strictly treated for the presenting complaint.  I want to share these pictures that tell you more than words could ever express.

Maternity Ward visit to see a friend who had lost her infant son hours after emergency c-section.  It was 3 days after surgery and her incision had not been redressed or even examined.  Before I left it was assessed and her care made a greater priority.

Beds are provided after giving birth.  During labor you get a spot on the floor.  One of my Malawi friends gave birth on the floor after being in the hospital for 2 weeks.  Delivery staff was too busy to assist her so her elders assisted in delivering her son.   

There is currently an outbreak of measles in the district.  One of our orphans became ill with measles and we had to take her to the hospital where she was placed in the isolation ward, a tent out behind the hospital.

Bed is a foam pad on the ground.

Food for the patient is brought in by family.  We brought our young friend food that was donated by a local restaurant owner who was moved by her story.  She said, “We are here to serve the Lord,too.”   The isolation tent was filled with young patients and their caregivers.

After three days she was discharged and we happened to be arriving with another villager who was 8 months pregnant and suffering with measles, just as our friend was needing transportation back to her home.  We were able to return her to her village and spare her the crowded public transport that would take her part of the way home leaving the remaining 6 kilometers for her to walk.  

This is a motorcycle with a sidecar used to transport patients to the hospital.  

There is so much that we take for granted and could not imagine doing without.  Have you had a measles vaccine?   Do you get warm meals brought to your bed 3 times a day while in the hospital?   Water is provided in a pitcher there beside your hospital bed.  Take a moment and give thanks for the healthcare you are blessed to have and then pray for these people and their great needs.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Allan Martin permalink
    August 1, 2010

    Cindy, Thank you for your faithfulness to the cause of Christ! You have revealed much about the underdeveloped healthcare in a terribly impoverished nation. I pray that we will be able to affect significant improvement through Esther’s House Clinic and that many will contribute toward the project!
    Allan Martin, MD

  2. Holly Blagg permalink
    August 1, 2010

    Your writings are powerful beyond words! I love you and pray for your mission and for you.

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