At first, it was just a case of regular malaria.
Growing up in Uganda, that's just a part of life.
When you get medicine, it is manageable.
When you don't, it's horrible. Malaria kills when left untreated.
Praise was fourteen.
Her grandmother had recently passed away and she was temporarily staying with her mother before moving in with her pastor and his wife
(see this blog entrance).
Praise's mother was desperately scrambling to get her the needed medicine.
She was so destitute that she could barely find the needed coins for it.
What a relief when she was finally able to purchase the life-saving remedy and give Praise her first dose! Phew!
However, since Praise hadn't eaten in a while, as there hadn't been money for food, the medicine made her even sicker.
She was feeling absolutely horrible after taking the medicine and thought she was going to die - for reals.
So what did she do?
She hid the rest of it away so that she couldn't be forced to take more.
Smart move - or so she thought.
When her mother found out, she beat her up severely.
You can just imagine the scene...
Poor mother, who was scared for her girl's life and had sacrificed her last coins for the meds - instead of food - only to find that Praise hadn't been taking them.
And I don't think I have to describe how this made Praise feel...
Fast forward 20 years.
Since June 7th, Uganda is in another lockdown due to soaring numbers of Covid-19.
Daily, Praise is receiving calls from the slum that we helped during the last lockdown.
Whereas last year, lack of food was the major challenge, this year, Covid is ravaging so many families and adds significantly to the suffering of the people.
As Praise is remembering her own experience with sickness and lack of food, her heart so goes out to these people. She can just imagine what the people are going through:
They are crammed in tiny homes.
They don't have gardens to glean food from like the people living in the countryside.
These people live from day to day.
Lockdown = no work = no food
And when mothers have to decide between food and medical treatment, it's just horrible.
Once again, we are welcoming donations into our Covid-Relief fund.
Please donate here and be reassured that your investment will be well-managed and spent to help the most destitute in their time of great need - for food or medical care.
Oh, and by the way, here's the end of our story:
Praise's mother ended up reaching out to Praise's pastor for help with food so that she could take the malaria medicine. After Praise ate the food, she recovered very quickly.
In her memory, she was dying from starvation rather than from malaria.
I don't know if that's factual, but definitely what she remembers.
Let's make sure that nobody has to choose between food and medicine in this critical time and let's reach out to these precious people!