Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's Just not Right

Agnes is a young single mother of a nine-year-old daughter.  She, like any mother, longs to care for her child and help her grow up to reach her full potential.  The problem is, Agnes is trapped in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

Agnes lives in a township outside of Pretoria.  To be more accurate, she lives on the other side of the township.  Way out there.  She does what she can to get work in the city (Pretoria), but transport into the city alone costs $3.00 a day.

Last week Agnes' daughter fell sick.  She took her to the free clinic, but they had no medicine (this is either because a) They were out of stock, which is inexcusable when we're talking about a simple antibiotic, or b) Due to corruption, the medication was stolen by the someone who had access to the supplies).  Without medication, Agnes' daughter grew sicker and sicker.  Her only other option was a thirty-minute drive to the nearest hospital, but transport and the examination fee would cost $7.00, a price Agnes simply could not afford.

People have died from illness that were treatable by common antibiotics.  What's even worse is that people are dying from illnesses that are treatable by common antibiotics.  The fact that there are still places in the world where people do not have access to health care is a fact I am not okay with.  The fact that it is happening in my own back yard is even worse. 

I was never much of an activist until I met Agnes.  Then it became personal, because someone I love is sometimes denied basic rights.  And I am ashamed that I never cared until now.  I should care just as much if it happens to strangers as to friends.

All this to say... wherever you are in the world, if you have access to medical care, be thankful.  Be very, very thankful. (And, by the way, thanks to a donation, Agnes was able to take her daughter to the hospital.  Her daughter is well on the road to recovery.)

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

This is something that always overwhelms me & breaks my heart. Thank you for voicing this is a way I never could, friend!