She arrived in a beat up Corolla

The other day a woman from the village was brought to our clinic.


Her body in shock

In the back seat of a beat up Corolla

She came with a few relatives and an educated man from Kamwenge town who was from the same minority tribe, found the woman, and rushed her to us.

The woman had given birth recently, at home, with only a relative to help her. She had come to us for antenatal a few weeks earlier, but had made the decision to stay at home for the birth. She and the baby had not been for a postnatal check-up. When the relatives saw the woman was unwell they delayed taking her to the clinic for days. It might be expensive, after all.

So there she was, her limp form lying in the car.

Then there was a lot of quick, fast discussion in Rukiga and English – between the well dressed educated man, the relatives from the village, our staff, Michael and myself. What should we do?

Could we admit her and try and help?

Do we have anything we need to treat this woman in such severe condition?

Could we find an ambulance to transport her to Fort Portal?

Would she die along the road if we tried to send her somewhere else?

Why hadn’t we already purchase our Oxygen concentrator that we desperately needed?

Did any of the other health facilities in Kamwenge have blood ready for a transfusion?


Less than a week later, we now have an oxygen concentrator. We are almost set up for blood transfusion.

But the woman is already dead, so what use is that to her now, I ask?

4 responses to “She arrived in a beat up Corolla

  1. Kim, what to say? It’s heart-breaking. My prayers are with you and Michael, the woman’s family & community, and the rest of the Maranatha Health team. I pray that the Lord will comfort you and give you strength.
    This tragedy highlights perhaps a greater challenge than setting up the clinic with the right equipment – changing the mindset of people in the community so that they come for help before it’s too late. I pray that this woman’s life and her story will spur you on in the task ahead. God bless you Kim.

  2. Kim, I can only imagine the levels of anger, frustration, sadness etc, that yo’re experiencing right now. When my cousin was in Kumi in the Teso region, he dealt with this kind of thing a lot, and it was one of his biggest struggles, especially when someone would bring a child in with gastro that was a week old already, and they were now beyond help. What made him angry was that he could have easily and cheaply helped the child if they had been brought in after a day, but it was often left until the child was beyond help.

    Very sad.

    God bless you and keep up the great work. Unfortunately you can’t win them all, especially when others make bad decisions.

  3. Dear Kim and Michael, I cannot but concur with the comments of Ann and Ezekial. Not detracting from your feelings of frustration, our comfort and peace of mind comes from the knowledge that the Lord has her in his keeping – which I know is of little comfort to her relatives particularly her child or children at this time.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, you, Michael and your team. May the peace of Jesus be with you at this time and always.

  4. really sorry – don’t know if there is anything other than that i can say

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