The problem with the mother, says Fredrick, is that she does not work, so she has become a prostitute to get money. The other problem, says Fredrick, is that when she does have money, she usually goes to buy changaa (local brew).
I agreed to take the child to the hospital. Fredrick picked me up on his boda boda with the little boy on the back and the three of us went by boda boda to the hospital. I was quite shocked when I saw his ear. He also has sores on his chest, back, and head. When we got to the hospital, Fredrick called the mother to ask the boys name; Augustine, 5 years old.
|Sorry for posting this, but it helps to tell the story of these children. |
I should say that I was very impressed with the hospital. It had large signs saying this is a corruption free zone and had listed all the fees for each service that is offered and the wait time. It is free to see a doctor and receive outpatient care and counselling. Treatment for children under five is free, you only pay for the medicine. It is a very different story if you have to be admitted (expensive), but our experience today was very good.
The clinical officer (there is a shortage of doctors here, so clinical officers see many patients; they are like physician assistants) said the infection is very bad and was quite angry at the negligence of the mother.
|Augustine waiting at the hospital|
On the ride home I asked Fredrick why he doesn't want to report to the Ministry of Children. He said he is afraid they will put the mother in jail. I am going to ask around to see how to help. For now, I paid for the medicine (1,500 Ksh; almost triple what medicine for Brenda cost) and gave Augustine some lunch. Fredrick will ask Josephine to make sure to give Augustine his medicine everyday, I don't trust the mother to do it. I also asked Fredrick not to tell the mother how much the medication cost. I don't want her to see Fredrick as wealthy. For now, Fredrick will feed the children as if they were his own.
After Augustine had something to eat at our house, he perked up quite a bit. Terry thinks he liked the slippery surface of our floor because he was sliding along on his belly. He was also pointing at all of the cords for our gadgets (camera, computer, tv, etc.), and all of our shoes. He was speaking softly to himself, counting maybe.
Fredrick's parting words to me, "These childrens who are orphans are really suffering."