Going to the field….
Yesterday I went to the field…I want to share what I saw, learned and felt as my heart was broken for some of the desperate situations…but I was so encouraged by the work of the Partners for Care team. I always find it is good to go to the field so I can never forget that so many people live in abject poverty. And, so many are children – beautiful, precious children.
Our trip to the field took us to Marurui slum with Peter (our medical outreach staff member) to visit patients of PFC’s Medical Clinic. I have been to the slum many times but never get used to the sights, smells and living conditions in a slum. The homes have no running water and are mostly one room shanty houses crowded side-by-side. Just walking in the slum is difficult as there are no roads, sidewalks or even pathways. The terrain is uneven with many what we would call “potholes”. But, each home we visited was a special place for the person living there – humble but the people made their homes warm and inviting and they warmly invited us in.
We were touched as each person we met told us how Peter had helped them. Peter is very well respected and appreciated in the slum. Peter is the field staff person for our mHealth program. Peter uses a mobile phone to send health information to Dr. Mercy at our clinic so she can see the patient’s condition on her computer screen and advise Peter how to help the patient.
Francis, an older man in his 70’s particularly touched us. Sometime back Francis was having a severe asthma attack. He was struggling to make it to a hospital when Peter saw him. “Follow me” Peter told him. Hesitantly, Francis followed Peter to our clinic where Dr. Mercy gave him a breathing treatment. Soon Francis was feeling much better. Dr. Mercy taught him how to manage his asthma to avoid such attacks. Peter checks on him regularly. Francis told us he thinks of Peter as a son and is so grateful for the help Peter gives him.
It is good to remember there are people who struggle and suffer – and good to see how the Kenyan PFC staff is helping them.