Thursday, October 10, 2013
India clinic day 4
So let's see. Over 1100 children seen in 4 days, 1 more day to go, wonder what impact we'll have. It's not about the numbers although we all are intrigued by the "number seen", me included. It gives us a sense of accomplishment, a sense of completion. Really? Not so fast. It's really about the reason why and the how we do what we do, and what the children receive. I'll let you decide what all those things are at least from the stories you read here. For me, it is simple. We have a reason "why': to serve; and the "way" is to give of ourselves and do our best to ensure the health of the children. Today is an example.
We are still in a remote area of India, isolated and far from the "big city". We saw about 320 children today, many still presenting with stunting, the product of sever malnutrition before the age of 5 years. One child in particular, the child you see above, is one of those. She is 8 years old and is the size of a 5 year old. She is chronically ill, has a persistent cough, pneumonia, may have TB, no appetite and a lack for life. She had no breakfast this morning. There was no food in the house. The parents have been "quarreling" according to the child, the mother is sick, and the father is rarely home. She is a sponsored child, and because of that she is one of the lucky ones. She gets a noon time meal Monday through Friday because of the association OCM has with a school that she attends and she is cared for by OCM staff. Medical Mercy now gives her a chance for health. I gave her medications, put her in our follow up system, the local OCM staff will follow closely and send me a report in 2 weeks as to how she is doing. We did a full nutritional assessment on her, and She'll be assessed every 6 months so I can see how she is doing. Without the medications, the follow up, the care and the intentional effort to get her better, she would pass away slowly and alone. There in lies the "why" and the "way". She will do well, she will survive, she will grow and she will be able to live her life to her potential.
We have one more clinic tomorrow. Not a full day due to the fact that we have 5 hours of travel to get back to our base. We'll see a couple of hundred children and finish out the week with a "total number". But more importantly, we will finish out the week having served and leaving behind a chance for the children to see a lifetime of love.
In all things give thanks,
Posted by David H. Beyda, M.D. at 7:22 AM