Friday, December 12, 2008

Senseless Violence

Five shots in the dark... Emmah and I heard them at 2:15 AM. We later learned that the local constabulary was shooting at five "thugs" who had robbed a nearby home -- on the other side of the hospital fence. One man was injured and caught; he is now in jail.

Violence seems to again be increasing in Kenya, although it's not an election year. Today riots broke out in Nairobi at President Kibaki's Independence Day speech. According to the local newspapers, people are unhappy about a new gag rule for the press, disproportional tax-free salaries for the parliament, and inflation run amok. The price of maize meal is out of control, this in a country where maize is a staple.

There are other kinds of violence, more personal and perhaps even more disturbing. Rogers, our pharmacist, was attacked last night on his way home from Maseno Stores. He's recovering from a head wound inflicted by a rock thrown by drunken revelers. And, sadly, we admitted two RTA (Road Traffic Accident) patients yesterday. One was a young pregnant pedestrian who had been hit by a piki-piki; the fetal skull was fractured in utero.The other patient was a two-year-old child who had fallen off the back of his own father's moving piki-piki. Little Michael has head wounds and facial lacerations but will recover.

Senseless violence, all.

"Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth..." (Prayer for Peace, The Book of Common Prayer)

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