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Thursday, March 07, 2013

International Women's Day, March 8

In honor of International Women's Day, I salute our Paeds team.  Bob and Rick missed this snap on Wednesday so it truly was an all-women team.
I'm privileged to work with this group.  Next to me is Clinical Officer (PA) Veronica, who made the difficult and agonizing decision to forgo a job in Nairobi that paid almost twice the salary because she was committed to the needier patients here.  She's the core of our nursery team now, and hopes to serve the disabled neurosurgical kids for many years.  Next to her is Dr. Ima, and in the green scrub shirt Dr. Sarah.  These two finished masters in Paediatrics at the University of Nairobi/Kenyatta program, and returned to work at Kijabe with their surgeon husbands.  They are brilliant and caring and I learn from them every day.  In the center is Dr. Erika, who once upon a time was a medical student and intern when I was a resident in Chicago, and now is a successful neonatologist and researcher who came to boost our education and effort for six months.  And on the far right another Dr. Sarah, who shares a position with her paediatrician husband Dr. Rick, here for two years from North Carolina, and impossibly tasked with improving our radiology department on the side.

I salute my own daughter, whom I learned after-the-fact led the RVA students in prayer chapel yesterday, and preached from Romans 13 exhorting her peers to speak with due respect of whomever is elected in Kenya, particularly when talking about elections with Kenyans.  Wise words from an emerging woman who is a leader I would follow.

And on this day I always salute one of my personal friends and heroines, Melen Musoki, wife of the late Dr. Jonah Kule.  Because on March 8 2008 she gave birth to her sixth child and first son, Jonah Muhindo, three months after being widowed by ebola.  I remember that night at the health center, the fellowship of the women there, the bittersweet joy of this son.  Melen is a woman of courage and perseverance who has steered her brood through many trials, founded a nursery and primary school, and held firm to the vision she shared with her husband.

And lastly on this day I salute the mothers of my patients (see yesterday's post) whose hearts break for their vulnerable little ones, who cradle them through fevers and convulsions and diarrhea, who sacrifice to bring them to help.  Working with these women is an honor.  Baby Z stayed with us for over a month, and when she went home this week, her mom called to me from the roadside where she was waiting for a matatu and I was walking to my house.  "Jennifer!" she yelled, and I looked to see who might know my name.  She just wanted to say thank you, again.  Z had come in with fevers and subtle convulsions, and it took some persistence and detective work to figure out she had TB meningitis.  It was touch and go for a while.  Now instead of being dead, she's beautiful and vigorous.  And her mom is so grateful and relieved.
Women reflecting God, in leading and caring and serving.  Happy International Women's Day!


habib malik said...

good is my blog on International women's day

Jill said...

the love shining the eyes of Baby Z's mother speaks joy to my heart

Rumi Mirdha said...

We should hate gender discrimination and also respect women as they desire.
I love my mother and respect to women