So I write my thoughts after 12 hours in a country whose primitive history has marred our belief that their same cries – their same hopes and aspirations – and their same dreams for some reason do not mirror that of the advanced world. How wrong can one be in thinking that the sparkle in the eyes of a new born does not have the same intensity level of that of a baby delivered in the most advanced health care center in the world. How could anyone allow or even permit the notion that poor disadvantaged communities is synonymous with ignorance and isolation and, therefore, should be forgotten and hidden under a bushel basket. I am awe struck that the same air we all breathe, the same moon we all see, and the same vitality of life we all feel is the same here in Kenya as it is New York. Yet on any given day, clean water is unavailable to everyone, food is plenty in one city yet sparse in another, health care is available to the rich yet the poor remain disenfranchised. The common elements of our existence leads one to believe that we have an obligation – a responsibility – to do for the poor what fate has not done for them. I ask why should a 13 year old pregnant women have no access to healthcare and risk losing her life in childbirth because she lacks the awareness that safe delivery programs exist despite her having to walk many miles to the clinic? Why should the promise of a future be sabotaged for a newborn because the vaccines are not accessible due to the stockpiles having been diminished?
Health care is not simply an obligation – it is a basic human right for everyone. Article 25 of the Declaration of Human Rights is clear – Basic Health Care for everyone in the world. It does not segment – it does not discriminate – and it does not marginalize. It is time in short that our own ignorance comes out of the closet in understanding that people are the same regardless where they live – regardless of the color of their skin – and regardless of their economic status. Health eVillages, in collaboration with the Lwala Community Health Alliance, is delivering on the promise to provide basic healthcare to everyone – anywhere in the world. I witnessed this in real time when I visited the home of Lillian – a patient of the Lwala Climic who during her pregnancy experienced a condition known as preeclampsia – a severe hypertensive condition that is potentially fatal. Thanks to the OMNIO app, the healthcare worker was able to identify the condition and immediately provide care to Lillian leading to the safe delivery of twins. I had the opportunity to hold Godfrey and Lillian in my arms feeling their love – cherishing their hopes and dreams – seeing their sparkle and zest for life – and never ever forgetting how precious life is and how we all can make a difference – one life at time.