Saturday, October 10, 2009

After nine days of treatment with ampicillin, cloaxcillin, and piroxicam, my leg is no better and may even be worse. Doctors in Musoma and Bunda are at a loss as to what is wrong, so I will borrow some money, travel three hours to Mwanza tomorrow, and try to find at least two doctors who agree on a diagnosis and treatment. Even finding the doctors can be difficult and frequently requires bribes to keep from having to wait a week. My first stop will be an Indian merchant who likes me and has good contacts. From here in Tanzania, it seems really silly to hear Americans argue over health care because it is--at the very least--available to everyone. No one gets turned away from an emergency room and there are thousands of them. Here, if you can't pay, or find a doctor, you just die. People die every day from things no American has died from for over fifty years. Good medical treatment is available in Nairobi if you can pay for the plane tickets, the visas, the hotels, the hospitals, the doctors, and the treatment--and if you have insurance. We are watching the first couple of seasons of "House" knowing full well that every single one of those patients would die here and even most that just go to the clinic. God has called us to live here and we do happily even if we suffer from the same afflictions the Tanzanians do with the same access to only those doctors and clinics that they can use. It is only in the developed countries that people have the luxury of debating about what kind of health care they want. Here, we must focus on prevention because there are few cures available or affordable. It makes our sanitation and hygiene training all the more important--and crucial. While it is not a lot to do, it is at least something, and we will do that something as long as we can. It only costs about $200 to do a workshop, but it probably saves twenty to fifty lives, many of them babies. Maybe I am getting too preachy in my posts. Do forgive me if my passion for these people comes across as abrasive. I don't mean to be rude, but I do love these kind, gentle, and suffering people. If we can alleviate the suffering of just one, we will, with God's grace.
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