Israel Musalam was involved in a road traffic accident while on his motorcycle to work. He was hit from the back by a truck that left him with two broken bones in his leg. Israel was taken to Zomba Hospital Center in Malawi, where doctors inserted long metal pins in his leg to stabilize.
Why Israel’s story matters
For many living in Malawi, a motorcycle may be the fastest and cheapest way to navigate densely populated and high traffic areas. Despite these conveniences, motorcycle travel often comes with a high risk of injury due to different factors such as navigating between both people and trucks, cars and various moto vehicles. Yet, many like Israel rely on this means of transportation to support their families.
The driver fled the scene and left Israel with his broken leg on the road. With help from other passerby, Israel was able to retrieve his phone and contact colleagues who drove him to the hospital. Several factors can prevent those in settings of poverty from accessing adequate and efficient care including lack of transportation and not making it to the hospital in time due to distance. In Israel’s situation, a hospital was nearby and he was able to access to timely and adequate treatment. Trained healthcare providers were able to alleviate his fears of losing his leg; he initially did not believe that rehabilitation was possible.
Israel works for a charitable organization, building homes and helping others. Not only is Israel’s injury debilitating, it prevents him from working and the cost of treatment for his injury can be a financial burden for him and his family. Regardless of what he’s been through, Israel is grateful for timely access to care and rehabilitation services. He says, “I did not think that, these doctors could maintain the leg, I thought when I came here they would tell me [we are going to remove or we will cut the leg].”