Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Last week Friday, a male patient was referred to the institution where I work for treatment. From the moment I set my eyes on him during the rounds, I knew that if something wasn't done urgently for him, he'll definitely die and also that taking him into surgery would give him a 50% chance of survival. It was a pure case of being between the devil and the deep blue sea. The consultants were brought in to evaluate the case and it was decided upon that he had to be taken into surgery. Now this was the tough part and the reason I decided to write this post.

Before they got to our centre, he had been taken to another hospital where an amputation of the right big toe was done. Did I mention that the surgery this man required was an above-knee amputation. He was a known diabetic and hypertensive with necrotising fasciatis of the right leg and it was spreading fast!!!... Anyway to cut the long story short, his wife was informed and counselled about the situation and her response was that she needed to inform his relatives before any such decisions could be taken. To me and most people that live in Africa, it is a normal reaction because well I thought it was right that they be informed about the medical condition of their brother.

However, It took the relatives approximately three days to make a 2 hour journey to our facility and unfortunately we lost the patient 30 mins after their arrival. The decision still wasn't made. Besides the patient was unfit for any procedure a day before they came.

Of what importance is this story? you may ask. My response is "I thought women now had certain rights." That is not what I saw in this case. Here I saw a woman who became a widow because of the actions and choices of other people, who by the way still have their spouses alive and well. A women who couldn't speak for herself or her family. A woman who is financially handicap without the input of her husband. I also saw that the husband allowed the mistreatment of his wife, life partner by his people to the extent that his head went in for it. There are men out there, right at this moment who do not see a reason for their wives to work. There are those who would rather use their brothers as next of kin rather than their wives because they still see women as the weaker sex.

So with no offense to my male audience/ readers, I say to the women " STAND UP! and take your rightful position beside your spouse not beneath him even though you have to be submissive as the bible teaches us. Men don't forget that when you got married, you were told that "a man shall leave his family and become one with his wife". Learn to be a little more supportive or her. Allow her to grow and she'll impact your life positively. A colleague of mine said a parable to me when this incident happened. He said "if the owner of the bucket sees it everyday and says to it, this useless bucket; His neighbour would turn it into a waste paper basket." In other words, the manner in which you treat your spouse reflects to people how you want him/her to be treated

Do the right thing today, protect yourself and your family

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