In the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as in many African countries, access to health care is expensive and not always direct or immediate. This is the experience of Aline, nurse and biologist, who chose to welcome others above all else.
“One day we were closing, when at 4:30 p.m. a mother with a baby about 8 months old arrived for a blood sample withdrawal.” Aline M. is a nurse and a biologist in the university clinic of Kinshasa. In the Congo/DRC, the birth rate is very high, as is the mortality rate and the infant mortality rate. Life expectancy at birth and the average age of the population are both very low.
“My colleagues had already closed the registration books and wanted to leave. But the words of the Gospel, which say to love one’s neighbour as oneself, came to my mind: ‘I have to welcome even this mother,’ I thought. I took a blood sample from the little one, and as I was finishing, the mother said to me with a firm voice, ‘God bless you, ma’am!”
I was just able to convince a colleague from the blood blank to take this last emergency, when another serious problem presented itself. It was already 5:00 p.m. There was a mother in tears, who could not pay for health insurance, with 4-year-old child in her arms, afflicted by severe anemia. My colleague decidedly told me that it was no longer possible to accept anyone. ‘Otherwise I’ll lose my job,’ she exclaimed.
I was moved by this suffering. I took a sheet of paper and attested in writing that I was responsible for the cost of the blood transfusion for this child. My colleague then accepted, and immediately gave the child the transfusion, saving his life. The child’s mother said to me: ‘God will return you the money. I am sure of it!’
Returning home, I asked myself: ‘Why is it that I met two mothers with such suffering children right at closing time?’ I read the Word of Life, a sentence from the Gospel, and I found comfort.
The next week, I received an invitation from my health service. From among my colleagues I was chosen for a 3-day professional training course. The financial contribution given to me for my participation was $150 US dollars! There was God’s answer. For having paid $25 US dollars for the blood transfusion, I received two blessings plus this amount which now allows me to also pay the scholastic fees for my children.”
A. M. – Kinshasa, Congo/RDC - Source: focolare.org