A Divided World
A close friend, colleague of many years who is also a health worker dedicated to improving health for rural people in Uganda recently sent me this story on his recent trip to Northern Uganda. It is a moving call to us all.
Setting off from Mbarara in southern
The bus scheduled to depart at 8.00 am from the bus depot in
One constant reality makes me very uncomfortable – the ongoing awareness of HIV / AIDS. As I enter the Northern homeland via the Gulu-bound bus, I sit on a seat beside a youthful woman holding a small baby. Settling down after the prayer, I notice the woman by my side. Every 10 minutes she talks to her baby, telling him not to cry, to sleep well and about his medicines. Then in the midst of her admonitions to her baby, she turns to me and discloses that she is living with HIV / AIDS and her baby is on multivitamins and antibiotics. Her baby looks to be around six months of age. Armed with her Bible, she spends the journey reassuring the baby, breast feeding and making comments about the poor economic situation of
As the bus traversed the savannas, shrubs and planted forests along the way, I noticed that God has been gracious enough to
The journey takes six and a half hours. Finally we arrive in Gulu town and I need to locate my social medicine course mates. When I call one of the students, he advises me to take a boda – boda (a
I decide to share this story. In the cracks of our divided World, HIV/AIDS finds weaknesses and vulnerabilities to build on. Women do not own their bodies. Women work hard on the land, but do not own it. Women may own nothing. What about their babies? Maybe sometimes, women own their babies. As I interfaced with my social medicine course, I recalled men as well as women struggled in poverty. I realized that
Alas, we live in a divided World. It is only with resilience, hope, solidarity and social cohesion that the cracks will begin to be mended. Professionals: social medicine scientists, family medicine doctors, primary health care practitioners and global health policy enablers have the means to begin to help to heal the cracks created by our differences. There is still much more talk than action.
With humility, but with a much greater inner drive now after my trip to the north, I call for solidarity of all global health professionals to begin to confront the structural effects of the social inequality that exists worldwide. If the current and emerging global health problems and diseases are ever to be meaningfully addressed, we need to start with the cracks that divide us now.
Labels: Uganda- GR