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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Globalization . . . can be beautiful

In the last week, as a mom of teens nearing the end of term, I have proofread thousands and thousands of words of research papers on:  AIDS (the reasons for resurgence in Uganda, response); Louisa May Alcott (post-transcendentalist nature); Food Irradiation (safety?); Terrorism (to negotiate or not); and Globalization (is it ruining our world?).

In the spirit of the last one, a tale of the beauty of globalization.

Scott discharged a patient yesterday.  He was a teenager growing up in Somalia, where the infrastructure of life has been decimated by war.  So he was sent to secondary school in Tanzania, where he became quite ill.  He travled to a hospital in Uganda where he was diagnosed with TB, but after failing to improve on his medicines, he quit taking them, and went to Nairobi where he has cousins.  After a long hospitalization at a private hospital with dwindling health and on the point of death, he came to Kijabe which is well known and trusted in the Somali refugee/exile community.  Scott and others puzzled and probed and spoke often on the phone with his brother in OHIO who had funded twenty thousand dollars worth of care so far for naught.  Meanwhile the best speakers of his native language and patient advocates here are Germans who visited and prayed.  Scott was able to connect with two French doctors working for MSF who have a lab that tests for drug-resistant TB, and made the diagnosis that this teen's problem was indeed very serious, life-threatening TB which was "MDR", multi-drug resistant.  The MSF team of Somali-Kenyans came out to Kijabe with specialized hard-to-access drugs.  A few weeks later this teen was walking, talking, laughing, alive, on his way from skeleton to healthy young man once again.  The brother in Ohio wired the modest hospital fees to Kijabe (compared to the previous outlay) and he was discharged into the care of the Nairobi cousin and the MSF clinic in town as an outpatient.  Everyone is rejoicing.

That's more than a half-dozen countries all coming together to save this kid's life.  And I suspect that this story is not over, more will be written.

Globalization CAN be beautiful.

PS.  Here is the Nursing Director for all of South Sudan visiting Kijabe where she is working with an American anesthesiologist in a Kenyan program to train the new country's first dozen Registered Nurse Anesthetists.  Case in point.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

What an amazing celebration of globalization's gifts. Though not always positive, it can be amazingly beneficial. Thanks for sharing : )