Alex Kelly

Alex Kelly (Backward Education Society - BASE): Alex served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica from 2007-2009 in the Children, Youth and Families Program. He then worked as the field operations manager for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children in El Salvador until July 2011. At the time of his fellowship, Alex was studying for a Masters degree at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in the International Relations and Security concentration. After his fellowship Adam wrote: "I enjoyed the chance to get know Nepal and Tulsipur. It was very helpful to see the problems affecting children in a part of the world that I had never been. The chances to go out into the field, as sparse as they were, were very instructive and enjoyable."

Health in Nepal: A Personal Experience- Part II

30 Aug

I am not sharing these thoughts and my experiences to disparage the doctors and nurses that work very hard and treat more patients in a week than American doctors treat in a month. The people that work in these hospitals are doing God’s work and it is not even the fault of the government who does not have the resources to pay for better. I am not sharing these thoughts so that you can pity the “poor Nepali’s” because they are a strong people that do not want or need your pity. I am writing it because I am trying to understand a world where the disparity of care can be so great. A world where everyone I know was born in private rooms with the most modern of care, while in Nepal it is a game of roulette played on old equipment. A world where my grandmother can get world class care and see as many of the world’s best doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, while the elderly women on the bed wastes away from everywhere except my mind.

Today I began this blog in the office and finished it at home; in that time an event occurred that shook me to my core. I was lighting mosquito coils, when I heard a sob that was so heartfelt and so deep that I could not even grasp it. The pain in that sob came from a place that I cannot even comprehend. I looked over my porch and saw a crowd around a women screaming on the ground. As I watched this I saw an older many gentle cradling something in his arms and walking in the direction of the Hindu temple. I could not see what it was because it was so small and covered in a light blue blanket. Yet, I immediately knew what had happened; I knew instinctively that a baby had died. The pain in that cry can only come from the love of a mother. Twenty minutes later as I was explaining what happened to Rachel, we saw a bike pulled cart come the house and a mattress put in it. The woman was carried out and placed gently in the cart, her small daughter climbed in next to her and they were taken in the direction of the Hospital, I had visited the day before.

As I stood there with tears in my eyes I was told that a two day old child had just died. As I write this I am filled again with those tears and now with anger. How can the world be such a lottery of where you were born? If that child had been born in the states it would have had a chance. How can a world be just that allows the fate of an innocent child to be determined by such trivial factors as location? The pain of that mother would have been the same anywhere in the world whether it was Nepal, El Salvador, the USA or South Africa. The pain is not made any easier because it is so much more common for a mother or child to die during or in the days following child birth. The pain that I heard in that scream will live with me now, but so will the fact this is not right and not a world I choose to live in. It is the duty of all of us who have been born into circumstances that people would literally kill for their children experience, to change the randomness of the world.

I refuse to live in a world where whether you see your fifth birthday is a lottery. Even though it often seems like a losing battle, we must fight it because the stakes are so high. The more equality and development we can bring to world the less of those horrifying scenes and screams will exist. This is not a call for charity, but a call for opportunity. Every man, women and child should have the opportunity to live their lives in manner that is fitting for our age. I never want to utter the phrase “that person didn’t have a chance” again.

Posted By Alex Kelly

Posted Aug 30th, 2012

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