I wanted to strangle the mother. I felt like yanking her hair and holding her head under boiling water. And the other two nurses mumbled my thoughts.

Staring at the parents and the deformed month-old baby boy whose face had been burned from the boiling water, I pitied all of them. The mother wearing tattered rags, the father, dressed in dirty clothes and the pitiful, moaning child, most likely blind.

People boil water for bathing. When bathing an infant they add a little river water and some black soap. Testing the water and burning my own hands from it, I’ve often shown parents over the years that the water was too hot for a tiny baby, but some continue to pour water, which is too hot, over their infants.

It was an accident. This mother “mistakenly” picked up the water from the fire, instead of the pan with a little tepid water added. She poured the boiling water over her baby’s face, now scarred for life. I believe we can prevent future accidents.

We teach safe hygienic measures, admonish the dangers of boiling water and encourage correct child care.

Some villagers still practice unsafe techniques and ignore all good advice, but still we keep on teaching them. Like it says in Galatians 6:9 “Do not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

We pray not too many will die before change takes place. Please say a prayer with us.


About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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