What is the point of my sharing this exciting portion of my life story? I knew six weeks ago that I was going to the doctor today. I knew exactly when I was going, who my doctor was going to be and what was going to happen when I got there. I know (approximately) the cost and I know that my insurance company will pay a portion of the bill. I have complete faith that whatever tests need to be done will be done. I know that my prescriptions will be filled and I know that if my physical condition worsens, the doctor is only a phone call away. There are also several hospitals available to me if I need that kind of care.
But it's not this way for everyone. My beautiful Natacha, who is 8, lives in Burkina Faso. According to UNICEF: Around one fifth of all children die before they reach the age of five.
The major causes of this high child mortality in Burkina Faso are malaria; vaccine-preventable diseases like measles; under-nutrition; diarrhea; and acute respiratory infections due to dust pollution. A 2003 study showed that 39% of all Burkina children under five were underweight, evidence of widespread chronic under-nutrition. Nineteen per cent of under-fives suffered from acute under-nutrition, or wasting.
So, I am thankful.