BE A BRIDGE Walking World Fundraiser River Crossing - i360 PCN BTGA from Fervesco on Vimeo.
Now that we have crossed this river together, what are you thinking?
What are you feeling?
Here are my lasting impressions:
First, you don’t get to choose your river, it choses you. I wanted to cross a knee deep, walkable river but I couldn’t find any in my local area. So, I sucked it up and said, “if I was born in Kenya ‘my river’ would be the river in my community”. If it’s a barrier between me and the health care I need for myself or my family, I am going in and across it.”
Second, if I had to battle a hippo or crocodile in that river and not just fight my own fears and fatigue, I would not be typing this blog today.
And lastly, although this experience was for a great cause and as real as I want it to get, quite honestly, I never want to live in a place where I “have to” do this to get health care. My world, is a “first world”, a driving world - not a walking world, and I appreciate that more today than I did before I entered into the wet, shadowy, and much more worrisome world called the Welland River.
Tim Windsor, Director of Clinical Services
Primary Care Niagara
The World Health Organization Constitution enshrines “…the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right of every human being.” Providing healthcare to remote communities in Africa and ensuring that their care is up to the standard of every other community in the region should be the goal.
However, how do you provide such level of care when communities and their health care providers are separated by a river? Strong currents, wild animals, and the simple fact that medication supplies can get wet are just a few of the numerous barriers that will limit the delivery of care.
From a patient's perspective, imagine yourself coming back from work and not feeling well. You decide that it is time for a visit to the local health center. However, you feel pretty dizzy and you are not able to walk there by yourself. A family member decides to help you along the way. However, as you are walking towards the health center, you realize the two of you will not be able to cross the river due to your debilitated condition as your company will not be able to drag you through the currents…
Now, let’s look at the other side of healthcare delivery.
You were not able to reach the health center, so they send a healthcare provider to help you across the river. The nurse coming to your aid now has to cross that same river, but carrying a supply bag with her that contains sensitive electronic equipment, sterile medical supplies, and dry medications. Definitely not an easy task.