Monday, November 21, 2005

A child dies

Just before midnight Saturday evening, Daniel received a text message from the Director of his NGO informing him that a colleague’s child had died. The child was two years old and the cause of death: a heart attack. His father was a new member of Daniel’s team and they had had many long discussions about his ailing child and what actions he should take to make him better. We only saw the father that afternoon and he told us then that the doctors at Dili National Hospital said that his son would be fine but that he was so concerned that he was thinking of flying to Indonesia in order to seek better medical treatment. Then his son died.

Daniel visited his colleague at home this morning to pay his respects. The father of the child was visibly upset but also angry. The doctors at the hospital had told not given him accurate information about his son’s prospects as they believed their primary duty was to give the family “hope”. When Daniel returned to work he was obviously shaken and called me to talk about it.

On our regular sunset walk Sunday evening along the beach to Dili Rock which marks the border between Dili and Liquisa, we came upon a small black and white female dog that had died giving birth to her puppies (the tail of one was outside her body). This is the second dead dog we have seen on the beaches of Dili, the first not long after we arrived.

Every week in Timor 5 to 10 women die giving birth to their children.

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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