Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Too. Many. Babies

In today's round, I was responsible for taking the patient's sheet. It was a case of marasmus which is basically a condition where there's generalized protien and carbohydrate malnutrition causing retarded growth and mental development in children.
By the time I was finished I had a very strong desire to strangle the mother. Why? Well...
this baby had 3rd degree marasmus which is the highest degree and is characterized by something called "senile facies" meaning he looked like an old man. He had every possible complication I've ever read regarding this disease ; recurrent gastric infections, dehydration, chest infections, ear infections, retarded physical (13 months old and 5.5 kg ,half the normal weight for his age), retarded mental growth (incapable of producing sounds even), ulceration in his mouth and tongue, ulceration in his eyes (he might go blind) , ulceration all over his skin and the weakest cry I have ever heard. According to one of my colleagues , he looked like he was "on vacation from the grave". To top it all off, he was a single child. I mean, what degree of negligence does it take for this to happen ??? The mother looked like she had come to terms with the idea that he was dying , she couldn't remember details about what happened to him , she was most definitely not honest about his history (stuff like this just doesn't happen spontaneously) and according to her, the father is unemployed.

I'm sorry if I sound like a Nazi but for the love of GOD, if you are incapable of supporting a family, why start one?
If you are incapable of raising a child and giving him the love and care he deserves ,why have one?

May God forgive me for saying this, but some people should have their tubes tied at birth. Human life is not a trivial matter. Neglected children are already all over the place , who eventually breed more neglected children. Why ? For what purpose?
It's not just about poverty either, Rich people breed some of the worst creatures roaming this Earth. Rich kids are even worse sometimes because despite all the opportunities give to them, they can still turn out to be selfish , arrogant , useless people. But parents always play a role in them turning out the way they do IMHO.

Birth control is cheap, God damn it. It should be used more often!! If every baby was wanted and if every baby was born to loving and responsible parents , there wouldn't be so many evil , wretched and miserable people in the world right now.

Besides, in a religious country like ours (whether you're Christian or Muslim) , why do people insist on breeding so much when orphanages are filled to their limit? Instead of having three kids, why not have 2 kids and give one orphan a family (as long as you can actually support 3 kids emotionally & financially) ? (And I'm not talking about adoptiing him/her , changing his/her name..just giving them a home)

We're already one of the most overpopulated countries ( the root of a lot of our problems IMHO) in the world , I shudder to think what the streets will look like during rush hour in 10 yrs or so....

--- This is what a marasmic child looks like, this is what I saw today...


Eventuality said...

Couldn't agree more! But you see, in poor countries like ours, having children is considered a form of wealth know 3ezwa. Of course this is a wrong cultural inheritance, bas howwa da fekr el sha3b. I've always thought we should be like China, they only provide state services to one kid, if you have more, you're on your own buddy.

We ba3dein even the people that have kids, very few are actually aware of how to properly take care of them whether mentally, educationally, or medically...even in the higher social classes.

Juka said...

We've talked about this before, I can't help but agree with you. Even from a non-medical strictly economist point of view, it doesn't add up. I too really admire the Chinese experience. Actually I don't get why we don't have the whole kaffalla culture in Egypt. I mean Angelina Jolie and Pitt can take in kids from all over the globe and we are not even willing to take care of our own :S:S

spellz said...

cant agree more
lol i m greived
I saw a kid like at in our roun but i cudnt photo him

btw i linked ur pos in my blog
i need everybody to read it

Ravine85 said...

Eventuality: I know what you mean about the whole '3ezwa" concept. I thought it would fall through when people realized that even err..3ezwas needed some serious taking caring of but unfortunately it's still going strong.People look at kids as some sort of duty they fulfill by having them, like we now have them but are we supposed to do anything next?

Juka: I seriously think the Chinese experience would be of great benefit to us and I don't really understand why ppl say that it's so unreligious. Angelina scares me but you can't help but admire her.

Spellz: I's a pic off of google (all marasmic kids look the same at some point). I was afraid the camera flash would kill him aslan. Thx for the link, doll.

Forsoothsayer said...

as a matter of fact egypt could easily support its population if its resources were well employed. also, the birth rate has gone down dramatically since 1975 when the family planning program began. it is now only very slightly above population maintenance level.

i think your issue is with the economy, and lack of education, not with population control.

Ravine85 said...

Forsoothsayer: My issue is with all those things actually but mainly with how having children is taken so lightly these days.
Sure, our economic resources aren't well employed and I don't think they will be any time soon, so why would an unemployed couple decide to have 5 children if the economic conditions are so bleak? How do they see those kids ending up exactly?
The brith rate maybe going down but we're still growing by more than 1 million ppl every yr and the economy isn't quite keeping up with it even if the numbers are only slightly above population maintenance level.
Lack of education? Well , sure! The fact that so many kids end up dying or needing major surgery due to complications of improperly treated minor illnesses is a testament to that like no other. But proper education would also include the realization that children are a big responsibilty and should be treated accordingly, they're not part of the big ol' jolly circle of life and they're not statistics. They turn into actual people who require food,clothes, shelter, education and jobs and people should understand that about them before they start having them.

Anonymous said...

I randomly came across this, and I agree with you on your last point. There should be more adoption in this country. Instead of giving people tax credits/breaks on more than 2 kids, give them twice the credit on adoption. Adoption is expensive and I think that's a big barrier.

The birth rate is actually going down in America, except in the Hispanic (overwhelmingly Catholic) population. Because Catholics are against birth control (and abortion), that problem won't go away too soon. Churches should encourage adoption more, and not just in the case where the parents are infertile.

I don't agree with the Chinese program, though. They instituted that because they have over a billion people and the nation is very poor. It encourages parents to kill their children and give them up to orphanages (that's why there are so many Chinese kids for Americans to adopt!) Most importantly, it takes away people's freedom. There should not be laws like that, but people should be smart enough to figure it out on their own.

I often see very religious families with seven or eight kids. I just don't get it. Wouldn't Jesus have wanted to help a poor orphan rather than just pass on some genes?

Ravine85 said...

I know that the Chinese program is far from perfect because as you say that ppl should be smart enough to figure it out on their own. However, people are apparently not smart enough and that's why I mentioned it. It's extreme to be honest and I don't think it would go well in a middle-eastern country (I'd expect female first borns to be killed or abandoned as in China for the favor of male children)but I really can't come up with a better idea. Birth control isn't forbidden in Islam , yet ppl aren't using it.
And yeah, I find it ironic how hardcore Christians or Muslims choose to have half a dozen kids without even considering adoption.