“I am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone.” – Helena by My Chemical Romance
It was way back 2007 when a guy named Simon (not his real name) was having diarrhea, pneumonia and literally ill. He had no medication that time and was a resident in Neno District in Malawi. He was really in despair.
On one of the night he felt bad and even vomiting blood, his dying father told him “Son, I do not want you to die…”. With that statement, he had been moved. There was a need for him to do something. He should continue to live a normal life.
His sister told him that there was an NGO in Neno that could probably help him in terms of health condition. That NGO was Partners in Health (PIH), which was starting to establish its presence in the said district to provide quality health care assistance to those most in need.
Removing in his mind all the hesitations, he went to PIH Health Facility in Neno. He got his medications and felt better. With the span of three months, he was on his normal condition. No more diarrhea, no more pneumonia and no more blood vomiting. He was healthy again.
That event made him a better person, not only in terms of health condition but also as an individual. He wanted to pay back what PIH did to him. He became part of PIH in Neno. He started working as a translator/interpreter between the residents and the health workers. After spending more time with PIH Family, he’s now part of the Community Program Team of the NGO.
His team was considered as the heart and soul of PIH. They had different programs for the community to help them on their health conditions. They went to different remote areas in Neno District just to screen everyone in the village on the status of their health. Some people were living without knowing that they had diseases and infections on their bodies. Once they discovered someone had signs of severe diseases, they would immediately refer it to the head of the clinic or hospital to have medications. They’ve been doing it for quite a long time every Tuesday and Thursday of the week.
The team also spearheaded community dialogue regarding family planning. They even brought live bands to get the attention of everyone on the village to gather around for the health screening. They were doing it even though the travel time was four hours just to reach all the areas on the district.
The data gathered during the screening would be used to analyze the situation at the district. This would give also impression to the Ministry of Health (MOH), which areas were considered hot spots of certain diseases. These were being done by Simon and his team. And they would continue doing it.
My tears fell when he was telling his story to me. His tears fell also even though the story happened more than ten years ago. That memory was still clear to him. The emotion could still be felt. And I was privilege to meet and hear his story personally. It was a very touching story. It was him and PIH.
Good deeds beget good deeds.
The author tried his best to tell the story like what had been shared to him. Any deviation from the original shall be communicated to the author and this post will be updated accordingly.