A Brutal Reality…
A brutal reality is the medical care or lack-there-of, in this country. Madagascar doesn’t stand alone in this reality as I’ve experienced the same truths in other developing countries.
We’ve recently been forced to look at this nasty reality square in the eyes as Josy, our long-time close friend and ministry partner has been in two different hospitals for the past 6 weeks in the capital city. To read the back story, click here, here and here. The quick and short back story is Josy was infected with schistosomiasis many, many years ago and though it was treated and even required surgery 12 years ago, the effects have caused total renal failure.
Two weeks ago, we thought we were going to lose Josy. We packed our stuff, piled the kids in the car, and made the 10-hour drive to the capital, Antananarivo to be with Josy and his family, to advocate for them, to help navigate the medical system and to possibly say good-bye. We’re thankful we didn’t need to do the last one!
We were mortified with what we saw and experienced and the care with which Josy is being treated. Don’t get me wrong… the current physician has been wonderful. He’s one of the best specialists in the country for this. He’s knowledgeable, he’s taken our phone calls and answered our questions well. The nursing care on the other hand is…. shall I say, atrocious. Patients and their families are responsible to purchase and provide for all the necessary medical supplies, medications, food, bed linens, etc as well as to provide a majority of the regular nursing care. However, that’s not the nasty part….
The atrocity lies in the disparity in the care for different tribal groups and those with a lower economic status as well as for those that don’t pay the bribe to the nurses to receive the care they should be providing because it’s their job. Those are pretty bold statements, I know. They are not blanket statements across the board. But they are the case with what Josy and many others experience. It’s brutal, it’s ugly, and some of it is just simply inhumane.
We continue to pray for Josy and Ana as they’re experiencing the effects of these realities on a daily basis. It’s hard on the soul to endure such things.