pwhy and beyond...


Nanhe is in hospital and in pain . I was given a garbled and incoherent report on his condition by those who accompanied him. What I could gather was that he would be in hospital for a long time and that the surgery would take place at a later date..

Government hospitals life Safdurjung give good medical care, but are often very sparse and even brusque when asked to explain a medical condition. This is understandable as not only are they overworked but used to dealing with 'illiterate' families..

Now I could not stop at this, and had to find out more.. I did remember seeing on his hospital papers that he had VUR or vesicoureteral reflux . I decided to find out more and, as I set out to do so, I realised once again that as in many other cases, this condition should have been detected early had he had proper peadiatric care. The reality is that a simple condition that could have been redressed at an early stage, has resulted in a severe renal condition that left unattended could have dramatic consequences. The treatment in the early stages is regular and long term medication, in later stages however corrective surgery is required.

We have good medical facilities in the large hospitals of our country, but the tragedy is that lack of education and awareness, as well as harsh living conditions in urban slums, lead to children being neglected and only taken to the right facility when the problem has taken alarming proportions.

One of pwhy's implicit aim is to see that children get immediate and correct medical help and that parents are made to understand the need and importance of proper medical care. Had Nanhe's bedwetting and failure to thrive been looked at, maybe a simple course of antibiotics would have sorted the problem, sparing him long years of silent agony and humiliation.

It is sad that whereas people at large react with great generosity to individual cases, we find it difficult to find support for our on going activities, though it is our continued presence on the field that not only helpa us find more nanhes, but allows us get early intervention and increase awareness.

It is the message we are desperately trying to get through..

Note: this picture of nanhe was taken a day before he was admitted. he was very happy with his boxer's helmet that we bought him to protect his head as he has a tendancy to fall.