I thought about sharing a reflection about my own mother and grandmother today but came across this blog posting about a rural mother and her ill son. So, I decided to share this moving story which is more representative of South Africa and the struggles parents face who live in these deeply remote communities.
My rural Family Medicine rotation earlier this year was not just rural – it was classified as DEEP rural. The majority of the people living in the area had no water or electricity. Many of them had pulmonary disease, despite never having smoked – the so-called hut-lung disease. The nearest referral hospital was more than two hours away and was reached by traveling roads with near-dongas as potholes.
Most of our patients were unemployed, or otherwise self-employed as subsistence farmers who struggled to subsist. Almost none of them had cars, and so when we did refer them to the “nearby” hospital they were…
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