dimanche 1 avril 2012
THE SLUMS OF PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA AND WHAT IS A JEWISH ENDOCRINOLOGIST DOING THERE?
I am very lucky to be associated with Maurits and his tireless efforts through Mo Po Tsyo (mopotsyo.org) to control diabetes among the less served and very poor in the community in Cambodia.
This morning he was at my hotel at 6 30 and we traveled by tuk tuk as Phnom Penh was waking up to a Slum area of the city, where one of the Peer Educator of the Network lives. She likes most of the peer educators are from the community, has diabetes and or hypertension and usually has taken good care of themselves and undergone a three month educational course to be designated as a Peer Educator in their region. It was quite obvious that we were entering the deprived part of Phnom Penh, and soon welcomed into the house of the Peer Educator where a group of patients had already gathered and others were dropping in to check the Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar before going off to work. All of them have their medical records in which their efforts are recorded which they carry in plastic bags to protect it from the rain or dust. What is amazing is that, these people, poor by material standards exhibited a solidarity, helping one another, talking about things of common concern which was not just limited to Blood Sugar.. I was so happy to see that even in the slum with very limited resources, more than half of the patietns attending this morning session had good control of Blood Pressure and Blood sugar! Congratulations to all the Peer Educators..
What is the Jewish Endocrinologist doing there this morning? He was remembering what he had been taught, not in the medical school but the jewish life which has taught to revere the saying of our fathers!
Shammai taught: "Say little and do much" (1:15).
Hillel taught: "Don't judge your fellowman until you are in his place . . . and don't say I will study when I have time, lest you never find the time" (2:4).
Hillel taught: "A person who is [too] shy [to ask questions] will never learn, and a teacher who is too strict cannot teach . . . and in a place where there are no men, strive to be a man" (2:5).
Rabbi Tarfon taught: "It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either" (2:16).
Ben Zoma taught: "Who is wise? He who learns from every man.... Who is a hero? He who controls his passions" (4:1).