So I have seemed to have recovered from my fall with out to much trouble. I have a bit of swelling on my left elbow, but fortunately with in 15 seconds of impact I had a through exam by a Dr , so we know that there is nothing broken or cracked .
Today we were in Bishkek to deliver a series of medical seminars. The first was to the families of disabled kids. It sure was a different perspective to listen to them share some of their concerns.. it was really good for our team to hear this, because tomorrow we will be Meeting with the Dr's and surgeons from the International Children's Hospital.. I am hoping that our team will e able to bring some understanding to the Dr's of the frustration that the parents are facing.
There is still a long way to go in the understanding of many of the conditions here such as sarebal palsy. One of the first things discussed was that this should not be referred to as a disease.. it is not contagious and there is not a fix all cure... and by referring to it as a disease implies both of those..
We talked about Inclusive Education, and one of the mothers shared that there is such a stigma attached , and she would love if they had it here, but for the first little while people will not be receptive to the idea and the kids may be teased, and no one is going to be cruel to her daughter... I really feel for her because her concerns are justified, but we need to start somewhere .. The team encouraged parents that they will need to take the lead roll in their children's health. This is very difficult for them here.
They shared that some of the Dr's here get mad if you ask questions of for explanation... they think you are questioning them and their ability. Also if you try to go to another Dr for an opinion, most Dr's will drop you and the new Dr's will not except you The biggest problem here is that some of the Dr's out there do not see the value in the life of a disabled child. For example if a child who does not have use of his legs develops problems with the legs, they may say well it does not mater if his hips are out of joint, he will not walk any ways, or why bother to try to tech a child with a learning disability, they will not do much with it anyway's... even to the point of not treating a heart condition or other serious conditions if the child is not "Viable" There is a really good tool out there for our workers.. it is called "When there are no Dr's" it is more of a lehmans terms to medical problems, when it was translated to Russian, it did not make sense for them because there are Dr's everywhere , problem is that some of them simply paid a bribe to someone for that title... so here the book is called something like "When there is no medical care available" It's so sad, because it did not take us long to find lots of excellent Dr's here that know there stuff and care so much for their patience... but how does a single mom with three kids and one of them severely disabled, no job and living in a remote village find such a Dr.. especially with no social worker to help them..its no wonder she just drops her child off at an orphanage... I was talking to Kyle after the seminar.. We are thinking that it is just about time that he finds and recruit a Dr on to the team... one that we can train in special situations, and one that we can offer free consultation to other Dr's that might have Questions. It would also give us some one that he could bring extra training to so we can continue to educate, at the same time, he could consult with families and act as a primary medical person on a full encompassing circle of support with therapist and social workers etc.. Besides we are involved with so many other medical issues such as Hydro syphilis and TB and cleft palate surgeries, and so many more. We talked about how poorly a Dr is paid here, and realized that we could likely get a Good Dr on staff for about $500 a month.. that's $6000 a year to be able to bring medical care to the most vulnerable members of society. Tomorrow we will be meeting with the Dr's from the International Children's hospital here in Bishkek,.. They are great and are always eager to help us with cases .. we will feel them out as well to see if they have any other solutions to this problem... I know for a fact that it drives them nuts as well as so often by the time a case makes its way to them it may be to late for help... We really don't know where this will lead, but issues that many have known about are being brought to the surface.. I am certain that if we are faithful and follow were we are led, we can form a team of professionals that are able to change the way this country sees its disabled, and in turn divert so many kids from ever entering an orphanage.