September 1 Update: Minga Released from Hospital

Well, whatever is going to happen with post-hospital care for Minga is now underway, ready or not. She was released on Friday to the care of her family. After three dialysis treatments she is stable. I will provide more details of where she is and what is happening tomorrow, when I expect to have had a video conversation with her. I’m looking forward to hearing her voice.

Here’s another pic from Minga’s life when I first met her in the late 1960’s, as a Peace Corps volunteer. She was 26 in this photo, and already the mother of six. I was 22 and single.  Her family, which included Roberto Delgado and five children, four of them his, lived in that one room with the zinc roof. Minga’s first born daughter, Ana, lived with an aunt. Minga’s open air kitchen, where she cooked on a small fire, is behind Angel, who is about 18 months old. His distended belly is indicative of parasites, not overweight. At that time the family had no running water. Minga had to fill a large barrel several times every day, carrying water in the rectangular can you see at the lower right. Filling the barrel took many trips, but anything bigger than the can would have been too heavy on her head and too hard to balance.

She has worked very, very hard for all of her life.

2 thoughts on “September 1 Update: Minga Released from Hospital

  1. Curious – was there any Rx for parasites available to that community in the 60’s, and did they kn0w that was a cause of distended bellies?

  2. for Phyllis: No, there was no medical care at all available to the rural poor. They did have coronderos with potions and herbal remedies, and their ministrations helped things that responded to potions and remedies. There was no pre-natal care either, and most women delivered either with a midwife or by themselves. There was a very high perinatal death rate from sepsis. They often cut the cord with a dirty machete, and the cord stump would become infected. It took about a week for the newborn to die. They called it the “7 day death”, but didn’t connect it to the dirty machete and birth — so it kept happening. Did they know distended bellies were parasites? I’m not sure. Everyone pretty much had them, including we Peace Corps volunteers. Some people came home with amoebic dysentery, which you never really get rid of. My parasites, happily, responded to a large bottle of noxious brown medicine.

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