“You are as wealthy just as healthy as you are and to attain optimum health you need some care.”
Following my earlier commitment to you dear reader, I decided to share with you my second passion and lifelong engagement. I am passionate about health and improving access to quality healthcare services for all when and where they need them. We all know the value of good health especially in the midst of this pandemic that even the most healthy of people fear contracting the virus. I’ve personally been scared especially after falling ill towards the end of June this year to get tested for COVID-19, wait for four (4) days for the results to come out. Luckily, the test came negative. Otherwise, I don’t know how I would have gone through the whole ordeal but this is far from the story. To cut the long story short, we all know the value of good health. On the other hand, we know the cost of ill health from discomfort, pain, anxiety, financial implications, and even the lost work days. I can continue counting and with this we also know that some still get ill. For those who fall sick, some will get the care they need while others will not. For those who will get, some will get well while others will pass on. For those who pass on, some will be able to cover their bills while others will not be able to and the chain goes on. These are some of the concerns that keep nagging me.
My passion for health was nurtured in me in my early days when I had a mother for a community health worker (CHW) based on her level of education. She did well at it and I loved the fact that she could offer care to villagers who came to her for help once in a while. At home she was our first point of care and she did it well. I inherited this from her when I was in my primary school especially for wound dressing and related minor care. I never knew I’d go the medical route by that time but I kept my options open. In 2005 as I earlier wrote here, I witnessed my death which had been foreseen except for it didn’t happen. I can’t say there was pain or not. Honestly, I felt nothing. There was no pain, joy, sadness or anything to say I felt. I existed and I think this is one thing that keeps me restless, knowing that one day I’ll be gone and it will not feel like it because I doubt there’s any feeling except for what I feel and get to accomplish when I’m still alive. A year later, I got to know that people a loved one had a chronic condition and there was nothing I could do about it. In 2007, I lost my grandma to esophageal cancer. That’s the illusion of time and good health. One time it’s here another it’s not.
Over time, I have lost people I know. Some I love dearly, others I feel nothing for and others I know so little to even gauge how I feel except for the fact that they are individuals that maybe could have had more time to live if they got a little more or better care. That’s all we can ask for in any one circumstance because in the end we all die. With this realization, I know I have to do something and that’s caregiving. Luckily or unfortunately, I didn’t end up in mainstream medicine instead I did pharmacy even though at the start of my course I tried to change courses which were unsuccessful. I fell in love with pharmacy and this is my life till the day I say bye.
This has been my first year of practice doing my internship which had it’s fair share of challenges but in all I made the best of it. From my practice at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to Kasarani Health Center, I’ve had a feel of what we have in the name of a health system. I acknowledge the challenges we have but rather than let them be, I believe I have a role to play and that’s my commitment. I’m accustomed to complaining until it’s not fun anymore. I want to make a difference, I want to give someone hope and show them that it’s possible to have a second breath when all hope is almost lost. I hope to look my patients in the eye and let them know it’s okay to because someone cares enough to give themselves up for their care. Armed with this, I contemplated going the clinical route to deal with patients day and night but then I realized there won’t be enough of me at the bedside of each patient. For this matter, I’ve decided to do everything that entails care. When I’m in the clinical setting I’ll give my patients the best care I can. When at the policy table, I’ll try put in place structures to ensure every patient has access to the care they need wherever they are even if I’m not their immediate doctor. In case I’m to develop medicines for you, rest assured it’ll be of the best quality, made with utmost care and love for you. Oh! And being I love education, I promise to pursue academia and I’ll for sure be as contagious with my love for you to pass it to my students to be able to pass it on to you when they treat you later in practice.
In summary, all I’m saying is that I care enough to fail to be a caregiver. For that matter I’ll continue the work I’ve started in managing patients suffering from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) such as Leishmaniasis, Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) among the marginalized, HIV/AIDS among the youth, mental health etc.
“I just realized that with health, we are always racing against time so I’ve got to save those I can when I still have the chance.”