Dr. Joseph and the Health Center
Stitching the Fabric of our Foundation
August 29, 2018
Things have definitely improved for the thousands of people who live in the radius of the Marietta Steinberg Health Center. Instances of malaria have decreased, which our partners on the ground attribute to their educational programs and distribution of mosquito nets. Once a month, the doctor brings in outside services to offer vaccinations, and it’s always a busy day at the health center, with about 80 children getting vaccinated.
Christopher, a preacher from the area, says that the health center has saved many lives. Before it was built, Christopher and his neighbors had a very difficult journey to a heath facility.
“It was a long journey to walk,” he said. “Some 10 kilometers even. So you would walk, and then climb.”
Only in the most dire circumstances would people undertake the journey. When a woman was in labor, for instance, she would sometimes be carried by her neighbors the six miles. Now, people don’t have to wait for an emergency to seek out medical services.
“When I feel a little sick, I just come and pick up some medicine,” said Christopher. “So it is now easy to come here. We are feeling it here very well actually, and we praise God for that. It has helped many people, many, even beyond this municipal. So they have-- you have saved-- this health center has saved a lot of people.”
But Dr. Joseph will be the first to tell you that the need in this community is great, and there is much more to be done.
“If we could have a level three health center, we could admit patients and let them rest in bed,” he said. “We could administer medication and the patient could stay for three days, and go home when he’s already better.”
The symptoms of malaria are intense: vomiting and diarrhea, severe headaches, and sometimes convulsions. While the doctor waits to release patients until the symptoms have subsided slightly, he currently cannot keep them as long as would be ideal.
And malaria is just one of the many issues that brings people to the health center.
Find out what happens to women in labor who come to deliver at the health center, and steps we need to take to make sure women and their babies have healthy deliveries, by checking back in on Friday.