VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
From one of the world's poorest countries, a mother's story
May 7, 2010 by Kate Sands Adams
|Martine Yatanza brought her malnourished son Blaise to the IRC-run hospital in Kaga-Bandoro, Central African Republic. Photo: Peter Biro/The IRC.|
My International Rescue Committee colleague Peter Biro is in the Central African Republic (CAR), one of the world's poorest countries.
A long-running civil war decimated CAR's health care system. Today, there are no more than 300 doctors in the entire country -- and almost 20 percent of children living there die before the age of five.
Yesterday I called Peter in the market town of Kaga-Bandoro, in the north. He'd just returned from a visit to an IRC-run hospital where he met a woman named Martine and her 18-month-old son, Blaise, who was malnourished and suffering from malaria.
"The child would probably have died if he hadn't received care," Peter told me. He said that Martine had lost three children to disease already. Blaise looked "extremely bad" when he arrived at the hospital on Wednesday, his doctor told Peter -- but said yesterday he expected the baby would recover.
Here's Peter telling Martine's story (you can listen to the full interview here):
There's a wonderful way you can help the IRC help more mothers like Martine: Buy a lifesaving gift and dedicate it to a special person in your life.