Attachment of Health Care I (Health as a Multifactorial Phenomenon)
Story: Gregorio, Forgive Us All
(based from our Health. Our Lives
By: Book Project Committee, NEHCC, NCCP)
It was a weltering hot that afternoon – not unusual in the Philippines, but not a time for hurrying either. That’s why I knew something was wrong when a man came hurrying up the stairs of the convent. The man was Gregorio and he told me his wife. Lina, who was pregnant, was sick with cholera. He and a friend had carried her for four hours from their mountain home using a hammock as a stretcher. When they arrived at the town of Togoc, they found the doctor had gone. Togoc is one of the several parishes situated in the mountains of the island of Negros with the population of some 20,000 people. The pastor there now, Fr. Eugenio, tell me that they have no doctor, though they still have a dilapidated clinic. When I was there, about a year ago, a doctor sometimes visited us. Gregorio wanted to borrow our vehicle to take his wife to the hospital in the lowlands – a two – hour ride over a rocky road. But I explained to him that Fr. Hilario had taken the jeepney, but would go with him to the clinic anyhow to see what could be done. We found Lina lying at the clinic crying out in pain. Obviously, she desperately needed help, so we hurried out to search for the young doctor assigned to Togoc for six month’s rural training. But he was away in an outlying and so we waited for what seemed like ages before he came back. He immediately wrote out prescription for Gregorio, who ran barefoot along the road to a little shop stock with pitifully small supplies of medicine. The doctor wrote another prescription. Gregorio sped away again, only to return once more – breathless and empty-handed. “We need dextrose,” said the doctor, “but there is none here in town.” All of us fanned out through, the neighbourhood asking people if they had any. Finally, a woman produced a half-filled bottle left over from...
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