View Through the Eyes of a Doctor

Malawian terrain

Northern Malawi … To understand your patients, you ought to have an idea of the difficulties they pass through. You have to know where they come from. How far they have traveled to reach you. The terrain of the land, weather, and mode of transport.

I drive to my workplace, but my clients walk from their homes, going up and down some hills and valleys to the clinic. Some have to leave their homes as early as 4:30 a.m. in order to arrive at the clinic at 8:00 a.m. After being attended to, they have to walk back. You can imagine a mother carrying a baby on her back on a rainy day.

At times I feel like taking some of these people halfway back to their homes but on a rainy day, the roads are a great challenge. The patients themselves will tell you not to attempt driving on those muddy roads.

There was a time it had been raining heavily from the previous night up to daybreak. I said to myself there was no need to rush to the clinic in such adverse weather. I thought there would be no one who could come during the rains. I left home a bit late only to find some mothers waiting for me at the clinic. They braved the bad weather for the sake of their children. I was deeply touched. That was motherhood at its best.

Dr. Smith Chibaka

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