"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Friday, May 29, 2015

wonderful and terrible news all at once

Last night I received notice from a very excited friend of mine that her first grandson had been born! Baby Jack could not look any cuter in his newborn photos. And grandma is on cloud nine! Mom had gone through 24 hours of labor before being wheeled off for a C-section. She's doing great, though, and will be able to come home with her precious bundle of joy in a couple days.

At about the same time, I received notice from a Ugandan friend about a young woman who had just died during childbirth. She had had a fine pregnancy and had gone into labor, telling her 2-year old daughter she was going "shopping for a baby in Kampala" and would be home soon with a new little brother or sister. Something led the doctor to decide on a C-section and during the procedure, both mom and baby died.

The contrast between life in America and life in Uganda sometimes knocks me out.

More than 100 women die during childbirth each week in Uganda. A whopping 76 of 1,000 newborns do not reach the age of one. Only 52% of births are attended by skilled personnel. In rural areas, this figure drops to 37 percent. Uganda is ranked among the ten bottom countries for highest maternal, newborn and under-5 mortality rates in the world. 

This morning I've been thinking about my American friend's joyous news, and I've been thinking about my Ugandan friend's terrible loss. 

And realizing there is so much work on so many levels to be done in our beloved east African country.

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