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Overwhelmed… | Operatie Africa

Overwhelmed…

Posted by on October 1, 2011

Hit by the reality of life in Malawi (again)

I thought I was getting more and more used to the reality of life in Malawi, but over the last 2 weeks it, again, really hit me in the face and touched my heart.

Last weekend I went with some friends for a nice picnic up Zomba Plateau; gorgeous weather, nice sandwiches, good company, lots of fresh fruits and a car to drive up the plateau… what a blessings. Especially when you see fathers, mothers, grandfathers and –mothers,  teenage boys and girls and even little kids walking down the plateau with a heavy load of wood on their head. And then you realise they are walking barefooted, in the middle of the day, and this is probably their only way of making an income. For your interest, the plateau is about 2000m high.

Also when you walk or drive through the streets of Blantyre, you see street vendors everywhere. I have to admit I find them often a bit annoying, but then again… this is their only way of making a living.

And just now, when I’m writing this blog, one of the guards knocked on the door asking for money to pay his rent. It is so hard to deal with poverty especially when it comes so close. My heart is broken and I really wish I could help everyone, but I’m already giving up, or better investing my time and money in Malawi… I so wish I could do more though…

But also the poor conditions of the healthcare in Malawi hit me in the face again. Lack of medicines and lack of other medical supplies; always short of gloves and sutures. No money to buy new linen drapes as almost all of them have holes in it. Lack of good surgical instruments. Lots of Operating Lights are broken en there is none to replace them. Error on the diathermy machine over and over again. It seems it’s getting worse since I came here in February.

But another thing that bothers, but also a bit frustrates me is the work attitude of Healthcare workers. To me it seems they don’t care the same about the patients as we do in the West. They much more care about themselves; make sure they have nice long breaks and don’t miss out on lunch and make sure they don’t work too hard for their money. While there are patients on the table they just disappear without telling anyone. They go shopping or checking their bank account in the middle of the day. This is also one reason we never get through the daily Operating lists of patients and patients are bumped off the list every day.

The second reason is, we see lots and lots of emergencies coming in, but because we don’t have an Emergency Operating Theatre they are just added to the already existing Operating list. So, again a lot of scheduled patients are cancelled. Oh btw ‘added to’ here means that in the end these emergency patients just replace the already scheduled patients.

And the third reason is lack of communication between the different departments and lack of preparation. Therefore patients are often cancelled the morning of surgery because there is no blood, or the right surgeon isn’t around, or the right equipment isn’t there etc.

The question that came to my mind over and over again this last week; ‘How can I help changing this and is this ever gonna change?’ And yes, I’m struggling with this.

 Thanks for reading my blog and supporting me!

God bless

Margreet

 PS: wondering how the story with the guard ended? I woke up this morning about 4am after some restless sleep. Decided to go outside and give him the 4000MK (about 20 euro) he needed to pay his rent today.

7 Responses to Overwhelmed…

  1. Agaath

    Hey Margreet!
    Wow, pittig he. Het is zo’n andere wereld en zo hard om te zien. Maar het is ook mooi dat je de compassie hebt! En ja hun mindset is zoo anders….daar kunnen we denk ik nooit inkomen. Maar ze zien ook hoe het anders kan door hoe jij werkt! Misschien dat ze dat niet laten merken en misschien maar een enkeling die het meer oppikt…Maar de liefde van Christus die je uit straalt daar en kan laten zien, dat is geweldig!
    God zij met je en ik bid voor kracht en wijsheid voor je!!
    Liefs, Agaath

  2. fam Schilt

    Lieve Margreet,
    we leven met je mee en begrijpen je dilemma’s heel goed.
    We kunnen je geen kant en klare oplossingen aanreiken, die zijn er ook niet.
    Er is een God die ook jou ziet in Malawi en wij zullen bidden of Hij jou kracht wil geven door te gaan met je missie.
    We roepen iedereen die dit leest op, dit ook te doen en zo om je heen te staan en je te steunen.
    Liefs Pa&Ma

  3. Daniel

    Dag Margreet, Ik dacht laat ik even iets op je blog schrijven. Momenteel zit ik op zee het het waait behoordlijk hard, hoge golven en strakst als we koers gaan veranderen word het waarschijnlijk slingeren. En hopende als mijn wacht om 04:00 is afgelopen dat ik nog even kan rusten en wakker worden in Scheveningen.

    Ondanks de omstandigheden is er een die alle dingen gemaakt is en dat is je Vader. Zoals we weten zal het er allemaal niet beter op worden in deze wereld. Kijk daarvoor maar naar de toekomst wanneer Jesus terug komt om je op te halen want dan zal het goed zijn! Misschien denk je wat kan ik daar nu dan mee…? Een heleboel denk ik. Dat jou leven geborgen mag zijn in Hem alleen. En kijkend naar Jesus die het voor jouw heeft volbracht op het kruis van Gogolta.Zal Hij niet zien die de ogen gemaakt heeft? Zal Hij niet horen, die de oren gemaakt heeft? Hij heeft je gehoord en gaat ermee aan de slag! Verwacht het maar van Hem en prober maar te rusten in Zijn liefde. Het was fijn je te ontmoeten een paar weken geleden, bedankt voor de gezellige tijd!!, Gr Daniel.

  4. Anneke

    Hoi Margreet,

    Heb je wat aan naaldjes die over de datum zijn?microlance 3, 25G 0,5 x 16 mm

    Groetjes Anneke

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