The April newsletter on the Friends of Sick Children in Malawi (FOSCiM) website makes salutary reading. It gives a comparison of UK to Malawi statistics. Although improving they still make heart-breaking reading. From the newsletter:
The figures for child mortality under one –
For every child under one in the UK that dies ELEVEN die in Malawi
I have every reason to be grateful to the NHS for the care I received when giving birth to our two girls. I’m quite sure that had I been a mum in Malawi I would have experienced the heartbreak of either a stillbirth or handicapped chid due to complications. I, myself, may well have died.
The figures for under five year olds make even worse reading –
for every child under 5 in the UK that dies FOURTEEN die in Malawi.
I cannot comprehend what it must be like to have a child die from malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea or AIDS. My girls have only required the occasional visit to A&E for various accidents, oh, and day surgery for grommits for hearing problems.
I work for the NHS and much as I moan about the pressures on it, the shortage of GPs and nurses, and the problems faced by patients with long term conditions, poor prescribing and medicines waste, this is nothing compared to those faced in Malawi.
I can see from the newsletter that the progress made must be in no small part due to the support from FOSCiM and the team in Blantyre. The work not only encompasses training nurses in paediatrics but providing vital equipment, and indeed buildings for the care of sick children. All things we tend to take for granted.
It makes me even more determined to spend two weeks of my annual leave working in the pharmacy, and to support FOSCiM via our Soroptimist Club.