One thing I learnt growing up, is that the hospital is a dirty place. Very dirty. What my ‘doctor’ mother made me understand was it has residue of all possible nastiness you can imagine.
She was not a doctor. But like many others serving in a health facility, she was to many back home, nothing short of a doctor.
From health to finding God and living at peace with neighbours and relatives, she taught me a lot. But I did not need her to tell me the hospital has the cleanest of hearts. Forget house maids, documentation workers and employees of bring one, bring two money milking enterprises. Hospital workers are in most cases, those with the cleanest of hearts and emptiest of pockets.
It is unfortunate that they often appear in the news for the wrong reasons. This is probably partly because the nature of their jobs hardly permits them to accord time to chasing a good name on the media.
When Hozier performed ‘take me to church,’ he was calling out the religious institution for its hypocrisy and homophobia, lack of respect for the very tenets it shoves in the face of millions trembling under its ‘holy’ banner. If only he knew the church as a structure was just the vine, and its schools, businesses, hospitals and leaders, the roots it used to dig deeper into the helpless folks.
Or maybe he did?
The health care sector remains a very important root of church work for major denominations and serves as part of the basis upon which their impact in society is judged. They often operate in clean looking structures and exercise hygiene to the finger tips. And yet, that is all there is about it. The working conditions of the staff that make the lungs of these structures pump, are often next to torture.
Associating with persons who serve in schools, hospitals and other facilities owned by religious structures in Cameroon will often give you a clearer picture.
Their smallest worries are often what other professions will term their biggest concern – lack of salaries. Many a teacher and medical staff in these institutions would narrate stories of living for months on end without pay, lack of contracts and lack of adherence to contract for the few lucky to have.
When all measures to rein the vexed teachers and medical staff in fail, the solution of the colonial era is adopted thanks to the good book’s verses on obedience and sacrifice.
Truly, the road is narrow.