by Dr Noah O. Olaomo
This calling of making well the sick often pitches one between the dying and the living. Rescuing a dying life from the murderous jaws of poverty, ignorance and disease could be herculean. The fiendish claws of the trio show no mercy.
It was the pandemonium and the chaos that drew the workers attention to the hospital gate. She was hurt at heart. She was a woman who was left alone to care for her dying child. Her man was nowhere to be found. She had presented to the hospital hoping for a cure or a miracle. That was typical of Nigerian patients; late presentation after other methods have failed. The poor boy must have been subjected to varying combinations of concoctions, chemist supervised selfmedications and all sorts of religious medicaments. The doctor on duty was summoned and he put his skills to work.
The baby was dying. He was anaemic; short of the life giving blood. Kept at home while dying of severe malaria, neglected infections or any other malady, he needed blood badly. He must be admitted to administer lifesaving drugs. But, alas she had no fund. All she had could not grant access to the most basic of care needed.
The doctor was helpless. He had footed part or all the bills of some patients previously. The dutiful workers must be paid monthly. The tax agents would not see the hospital as a charity. So helpless like a weary pilgrim, she pleaded for a free care. Time was ticking away. Poverty, ignorance and disease were actively snuffing life out of him. She was referred to the government hospital or anywhere there is room for emergency free care. For to their credit, some missionary hospitals will offer such help.
So, she walked out and headed to another hospital or so the hospital workers thought. But they were dead wrong. The noise and the commotion outside few minutes later attested to the desperation of a helpless mother. She would not go away and banged at the gate crying. The motley crowd eventually prevailed on her or she grew weary. And she left. To, where, God knows.This is the typical scenario that plays out frequently in Nigerian hospitals.
Let it be known that;
- Childbearing should be planned. Responsible parenting is demanding. SCHOOL FEES IS THE MOST POTENT FAMILY PLANNING METHOD. Do not compete to have a football team. In this respect, the women should be smarter than some irresponsible men who are only keen in impregnating their wives only to abscond when duty calls.
- African men should wake up from their slumbers. It is no heroism to father untendered kids.
- The wealthy of the land are not doing enough. Let us all help those in need in our little ways
- The government is nowhere to be found. Every family is a local government to herself. Health insurance for universal health coverage is long overdue.
May the Lord bless the weary women of the land who daily and disproportionately bear the brunt of these ills.
Dr Olaomo Noah Oluwafemi is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist with a love for writing. His desire is to enhance people’s lifestyle and effect positive change in their health through his writings.