Thursday, July 9, 2009

Treating Mohammed

Sometimes I think I went into the wrong profession when I became a teacher, it isn’t that I don’t love teaching, but there are times when I think I would have been better off becoming a nurse (like my sister and all of my sisters'-in-law). These past few weeks were a prime example. Our night guard (Mohammed) didn’t show up for a couple of shifts, which we suspected meant that he was sick and were planning on going to visit him, but before we could get there a couple of his friends showed up because they were very concerned about him and felt that he needed to go to a clinic. We called Annie, a Nigerien friend that is a nurse to go with us. She told us there was no point in going to a clinic because the doctors were on strike and weren’t working at the hospitals and the clinics would only take the patients that had appointments. When we got there, Mohammed was sitting in a basin of water to ease the pain of two days of diarrhea. Annie recognized the symptoms of dysentery and diarrhea and started him on an IV treatment to re-hydrate him (it was reminiscent of the team from Brantford’s trip last summer where one of them ended up with the same situation). We went back a few times over the next few days to make sure that he was doing ok and still taking the medicine that we had bought at the pharmacy. I know that all the medical professionals reading this are cringing thinking that we help set up our guard on an IV in his hut and gave him medicine without a doctor’s prescription and I would like to let you know that this isn’t our normal practice, but it really isn’t that unusual here. Annie however has done this in the past when she worked as a village nurse for Doctors Without Borders.

If that weren’t enough the day before yesterday we came home to find Mohammed really upset. I guess he had been waiting for us for a couple of hours (he was early and we were out to eat). His wife was ill and he had taken her to a clinic and needed medicine for her (in other words he needed us to pay for it—because we are his medical benefits). He was afraid that she might be dying and so we made the call to Annie once again to come with us. When we got to his house I asked if I could pray for his wife and Mohammed said yes, yes, it’s her stomach. I prayed with his wife while Annie gave Mohammed instructions about the medicine and then helped her take the medicine. It turned out that what Mohammed had feared was lethal was a result of something that she had ate.
Please pray for Mohammed and his family. When he has a concern and we offer to pray for him, he is agreeable, but we aren’t sure whether that is because he really doesn’t understand what we are saying or because he is open to having us pray in Jesus name or just because we are his employers.

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