|Waiting for test results at Kijabe Hospital.|
I could write pages of God's faithfulness to us during that terrifying day... from the fact that we were only five minutes from the hospital when she started seizing, to the fact that the attending doctor had not only graduated from Jared's alma mater, but was also from a well-known children's hospital in our home-state, to the fact that so many friends and family rose up in prayer on our behalf when I was struggling to form words and thoughts. We were thankful for the way God clearly showed He was with us through each step, thankful for the fact that all of Addilyn's tests came back normal, and thankful to live near such a good hospital.
It's moments like this when we're reminded just how thankful we are for easy access to healthcare. Unfortunately, over the last three months, access to healthcare is becoming anything but easy for the people of Kenya. For the last 80 days, every Kenyan government hospital (which provide about 50% of healthcare) and every government clinic have not had any government doctors. Kenyatta and Moi Hospitals, the 1800- and 800- bed national referral hospitals, have been deserted. Hundreds of government employed doctors have been protesting in the streets over a longstanding dispute over work conditions. This has left thousands without options for healthcare, whether preventative or urgent.
|Doctor's Protesting in Nairobi (www.steeres.com)|
To further compound the issue, a concurrent nurses' strike at Kijabe Hospital started this past Sunday night, and Kijabe Hospital was forced to close its doors to all but emergency and critical patients. The stories we've heard these last three months as a result of the strike have been heartbreaking... patients being turned away from 4 different hospitals, only to show up at Kijabe when it's too late; patients who would have normally made it, dying as a result of lack of equipment or space; death tolls going up ten-fold as a result of the lack of access to medical care. These are real people, not just numbers; family after family facing the loss of loved ones.
Friends, we are crying out to you to join us in praying for resolution. Please pray for the doctors, nurses, administrators and government officials, as well as for the patients and their families who are suffering as a result of this crisis. It's a complicated conflict, and we don't wish to take sides, just to see it come to an end.
If you're interested in reading more about the ongoing strike, the blog of a local missionary doctor and her family has a number of articles written from a point of view inside the crisis.
Caught in the Cross-fire (written 25 days after the strike started)
Strike Impact (heart-breaking retelling of the strike's impact)
Shutdown (written since the start of the nurses strike on Sunday)
In my distress I called upon the Lord;Psalm 18:6
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.