This shouldn’t happen in 2010

Ian informed me last night that my last 4 blogs have been about the baby and that people might get bored.

I don’t know  if you have realized, but our blog is generally pretty lighthearted.  We’ve tried to keep it about our personal experience, and still, there is so much that we witness and experience here that I don’t talk about.  It’s either too depressing, horrible, or just not conducive to the positive work we’re trying to accomplish through Karibu Centre.

I’ve been thinking a lot about women & pregnancy here in Kenya.  There is a large campaign by UNICEF here to increase awareness and reduce the number of deaths related to pregnancy.  This week, the country also celebrates The Day of the African Child on Wednesday.

With all of that in mind, here are a few things that I have witnessed here that must be shared & honestly, should not be happening in the year 2010.

A woman should not lay unassisted on a plastic covered metal hospital bed in a pool of blood while waiting to pass her placenta.

A woman should have the right to view an ultrasound scan taken of her fetus…even if her pregnancy is in jeopardy.  She should not be denied the right to know what is going on.

A women should not fear that she will contract HIV or some other disease because she is in premature labor & bleeding, and  is being told to share the remaining ONE hospital bed with TWO other women who are bleeding on said bed and have gosh knows what wrong with them.

No one should take it upon themselves to lie & say that a baby is dead, if it isn’t.  Even if the mother is an 11-year old girl.

In the US, 15 out of every 100,000 women die due to pregnancy related complications.  In Kenya, that number is 414 women.   Every woman, if they desire, should have access to some type of skilled care during labor, whether in a hospital or elsewhere.

Newborn babies shouldn’t rest 2-3 deep in a metal gym-like basket so that there are 31 in a hospital nursery made to hold 16.

A hospital shouldn’t be in a position where it is housing newborn abandoned babies, yet is unable to clothe, feed or nurture these babies.  These babies also should not be 3 months old and never have had the opportunity to be outside.

Babies should not lie in feces because the incubator’s cleanliness hasn’t been attended to in days?  weeks?

A HIV positive mother shouldn’t have to run all around the country looking for infant formula provided free-of-charge through foreign aid programs, otherwise, yes, she’ll nurse that baby and possibly infect it.

Babies should not be  refused a family/home because they were not born to a relative.  A life is precious whether it is from your blood or not.

A woman should never have to beg and plead to know what kind of medical treatment she has or will be receiving.

And despite all of these things that go on in the hospitals here, that shouldn’t, please know that this care is better than NO care, which is a reality for about half of the population.  And, how much does having a baby at the District Hospital cost?  About as much money as your cup of Starbucks….

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13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cindi on June 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    amen

    Reply

  2. Posted by Karen on June 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Wow.

    Very humbled here. What can someone like me do to help?

    Reply

  3. Posted by Lindsey on June 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Wow. That is crazy. Hard to believe you have witnessed all those things with your own eyes. Thanks for sharing with us even though it’s tough to read. It’s easy for us to live in our little American bubble and often forget about what goes on in other places across the world. Thanks for everything you guys are doing/have done to help these ladies & babies. Couldn’t be prouder!

    Reply

  4. Posted by AMERIKA on June 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    😦

    Reply

  5. Posted by Anna on June 14, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    thank you for sharing. I believe God is glorified when we are honest about what is unglorifying to Him and His people

    Reply

  6. Posted by Jennifer on June 15, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Anne. You are the conduit by which we become aware of these heart breaking realities. Thank you for making sure we all know our world… the good & the bad.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Eve on June 15, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Crazy – so thankful you all have been protected while in the midst of this, but I know other families ache for their loved ones just as we do. Sad to think about.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Amelia on June 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

    My heart feels such sadness for these women. You are a blessing to those lives that you have touched. I love you and am thankful for your gift of honesty!

    Reply

  9. Posted by mayfamily on June 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Karen–
    Someone with your amazing skill and talent could contribute in the way of making product and donating some of the profit to Karibu, or for the hospital, or vulnerable pregnant women.

    You could also donate something you make to the annual auction that raises all of the operating funding for Karibu Centre.

    I can just envision awesome little onesies with an African themed picture/phrase appliqued on, or bibs, or even coffee cup wraps….

    You could even make something simple and donate for the abandoned babies in the centre. It could have a message or just be cute as all your things are!

    Every little bit given makes a difference!

    Not that you’re not currently busy with all that’s going on in your life, but keep it in mind, and if you’re interested….let me know!

    How fun would it be to get a group of sewers onto this project?

    Reply

    • Posted by Jamie on June 15, 2010 at 11:17 am

      I’m a novice sewer who would love to help out in whatever way I can. Let me know if anything ever happens or you get some people that want to work on this type of project. The fact that these things occur is a travesty and, while I’m just about sickened to read about it, I’m glad that you’ve been able to bring it to the attention of so many people.

      Reply

  10. Posted by natalie on June 18, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Thank you for keeping it real. Even though I want to, I know that I shouldn’t turn my eyes or ears away from these realities. It hurts to know because it is supposed to hurt and in turn call us to action. Much like we would attend to a wound on our own bodies when the pain draws our attention, we should tend to the wounds of these others when their pain draws our attention. Can I get an amen?

    Reply

  11. Posted by Todd and Betsy on June 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Anne, those are heartbreaking observations…I don’t even know where to put those in my head…if I had to count my blessings, I’d be up all night.

    Todd

    Reply

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