REFLECTIONS: Has life really become better?

Austina
Posted March 1, 2017 from Nigeria

As I sat there in that hospital ward watching the fluids passing from the tubes into my daughter's frail body, I could not help but cast my mind back to a little over thirty years ago.

Our neighbor, Mama Talatu was married to one of the most irresponsible men around. He would take off at the end of each month as soon as salaries were paidand would not return until he had spent nearly everything. This cycle was a constant and it went on for months until he got so drunk one certain month and not only failed to resume work but also lost his job. Mama Talatu at this time had become the burden of the entire compound. She was known to knock from room to room, begging for assistance ranging from soup ingredients to money and even drinking water sometimes, to cater for herself and her two daughters.

The most bitter part of her story was losing one of her daughters to malaria fever, because help did not come on time.

The last ten days had been quite a challenge for me as I watched my only daughter battle through a bout of acute malaria and enteric fever ( also known as typhoid). We went from taking oral drugs which had little or no effect, to landing on a hospital bed where we spent two days. She is out of the woods now, and is today hale and hearty.

I look around me and still see so many women losing children to malaria and other common fevers that are prevalent in the tropics. Healthcare in our part of the world which is supposed to be cheap and accessible, daily eludes the common man. Not much seems to have changed in the plight of women from the days of Mama Talatu. A lot of women still find themselves helpless in the face of these common health challenges and it bleeds my heart to see so many children die cheap deaths.

As a single mother, I know how lonely and dejected I felt, having to cough out the sums expected of me at the Private hospital where my daughter was being treated. Are there no public hospitals? Yes, you may be tempted to ask that. But, anyone who knows these parts well enough will tell you that good healthcare in my country is strictly for the highest bidder. Oftentimes, indigent families prefer over the counter treatment options rather than pass through the ordeal of attending public hospitals were doctors are either on strike or lack basic facilities to do their jobs well.

Who then is still the victim here? Women. Who bears the brunt of raising the children when the men abscond? Women. Who suffers with the children when they are sick? Women. Who is at a greater loss when the children die? Women. For like we all know, it is easier for a man to remarry or marry more wives and bear more children.

Who then needs empowerment? Women.

I will be talking more about my project FOCUS in subsequent posts through the course of this training and I shall be lookingforward to your support and positive contributions as we adopt suffering women today towards giving our world a better tomorrow!

How to Get Involved

I-FOCUS is a movement that seeks to help women stand again. It aims at seeking out indigent single mothers ( divorcees, widows and survivors of domestic violence) and giving them another chance at life, by teaching them common trades that can fetch daily income and also provide shelter where necessary. Any contributions you can make towards this will go a long way to change the plight of suffering women; sewing machines, baking equipment, cookers, beddings, clothing and cash can go a long way to help many a woman find hope again. Thank you, in fervent anticipation.

I

F - Face forward

O - Organise my life 

C - Concentrating 

U - Uncompromisingly on

S - Success!

 

Comments 12

Log in or register to post comments
JANEKALU
Mar 02, 2017
Mar 02, 2017

Dear Austina, In Africa, 90% of marriages that works is the woman efforts.So bad that most of this women, dose not have what it takes to sustian this situation thereby increasing the problem. I agree with you that what every woman needs is empowerment.I also appreciate the steps you have taking to establish the organization that empowers woman

Regards

Jane Kalu.

Austina
Mar 02, 2017
Mar 02, 2017

Dear Jane,

Thank you for your support. I quite appreciate your encouragement and looking forward to doing a lot with you via this platform, to better the lot of women.

Blessings

noreez
Mar 02, 2017
Mar 02, 2017

Dear Austina,

Great effort...your Focus project can make a difference...keep us updated with its progress!

Ann Forsthoefel
Mar 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017

Dear Austina,

Your story really touched me and it breaks my heart to know so many "children die cheap deaths". I encourage to keep on writing and making people aware near and far about your project. I know through persistence that your story will be heard and it will make a difference for hundreds of children in the near future. 

Wishing you the best,

Ann

Julie Zenterra
Mar 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017

Sister Austina:

I'm incredibly inspired by your writing, which is so powerful and moving, and by your Focus project! Please keep the World Pulse community apprised of your momentum and forward progress, and reach out to your sisters here for help and encouragement as needed! Go Austina!!!

Julie Zenterra

Sarah Murali
Mar 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017

Thank you for sharing this important story. I am so glad to hear your daughter recovered, and inspired by the work you are doing for single mothers. I look forward to seeing more updates about Project FOCUS soon!

In support,

Sarah

Austina
Mar 10, 2017
Mar 10, 2017

Dear Noreez,

Thank you for your support and encouragement. I deeply appreciate it.

Blessings

Austina
Mar 10, 2017
Mar 10, 2017

Dear Ann F,

Thank you. I am glad you identify. And I say a big amen to your prayers. I look forward to a day, hopefully in my lifetime, when children will no longer due to lack of funds or proper and affordable healthcare.

Blessings

Austina
Mar 10, 2017
Mar 10, 2017

Dear Sarah, 

Thank you for support. Highly appreciated!

Blessings

Austina
Mar 10, 2017
Mar 10, 2017

Dear Sister Julie,

Thank you for the encouragement. I deeply appreciate you and I shall endeavour to keep you all posted on our progress.

Blessings

sycamore_may
Mar 12, 2017
Mar 12, 2017

Dear Austina,

I agree with the support and encouragement from the wonderful women of the World Pulse community above. It is devastating to know how many children die from treatable and preventable illness. I am so relieved to hear of your daughter's recovery and I'm sorry you had to go through that. There should certainly be a more effective and affordable health care system. Your "I-FOCUS" initiative is a motivating/exciting way to spread more information about the issues that exist in healthcare in your community and empower women to fight for the rights of their children and themselves. 

Keep fighting the good fight!

in solidarity,

Sycamore 

Austina
May 18, 2017
May 18, 2017

Dear Sister Sycamore,

Your encouragement is very heartwarming. I appreciate your support and shall continue to count on it.

Blessings