fighting ebola Marcus Dipaola/ZumaPress

Sterben, um zu leben

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE – Während meiner Zeit als junger Assistenzarzt in der Notaufnahme des Ola During Kinderkrankenhauses in Sierra Leone habe ich der Mutter eines Kindes, das an schwerer Malaria erkrankt war, zu einer unverhohlenen Lüge geraten. Ihre Tochter Mariama benötigte eine lebensrettende Bluttransfusion, aber ihre Mutter hatte kein Geld, um die Screening-Tests zu bezahlen und den Blutspender zu vergüten. Ich habe viele Kinder sterben sehen, während ihre Eltern verzweifelt versuchten das nötige Geld aufzubringen.

Ich war entschlossen Mariamas Leben zu retten, und riet ihrer Mutter nach Hause zu gehen und zu verkünden, dass ihre Tochter gestorben sei. Ich wusste, dass sie so das Mitgefühl ihrer Verwandten wecken würde und diese das wenige Geld, das sie haben, zusammenkratzen würden, um eine anständige Beerdigung zu ermöglichen. Die Mutter war einverstanden, und als sie sechs Stunden später zurückkehrte legte sie genug Geld auf den Tisch, um Mariamas Behandlung zu bezahlen: eine Bluttransfusion und Medikamente gegen Malaria und Wurmbefall. Ein paar Tage später habe ich die immer noch schwache, aber genesende Vierjährige aus dem Krankenhaus entlassen.

Mariamas Krankheit konnte ihre Verwandten nicht bewegen, etwas zu unternehmen, ihr Tod hingegen schon. Das Gleiche ist, in weit größerem Umfang, während der Ebola-Epidemie in Westafrika passiert.

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