When Illness Occurs

Checking It all started a few months ago. Community projects were underway and word was spreading about this woman (me) who was offering assistance in Mbayi. The elderly began to seek me out to discuss matters of pain and hunger, sometimes traveling for hours, aided by walking sticks and determination. I decided to reach out to this group as a whole and that is how home visiting began.

Guided by volunteers, as we hike through the bush, we often encounter situations that need basic first aid (which I administer) malaria medication (which I carry since there isn't a chemist in Mbayi), and also cases where I determine that full medical attention is required. As I've mentioned previously, the nearest health care clinic is very far, so far that the seriously ill cannot make it on foot and those with early symptoms are often reluctant to make the time and effort for this arduous journey.

In response, I've organized regular clinic runs, sent word throughout the village urging everyone to report neighbours who are ill (and then I investigate), and carry extra gas ready for emergency response. Clinic staff are encouraging this effort declaring that lives are being saved.

Just last week we rushed a woman and her young son to the clinic, suffering so severely from malaria that both were admitted immediately and she almost died - would certainly have done so, the Dr. said, had she remained at home. Five children might have lost their mother!

You are doing a good thing, people here are saying, God's work, and I am grateful for this opportunity to serve.