Dear Friends of Muso,
On November 9, our patients woke up before dawn to coax millet and black-eyed peas from the sand on the edge of the Sahara. A Community Health Worker, sweating under the Malian sun, walked the extra hour to bring care to one of the most vulnerable families in her community. A village chief stood, determined not to lose as many of his village’s children to malaria this rainy season as they did last year. News of the election in the United States reached even the most remote villages we work in, words coughing their way through dusty radios.
In the days to come, things will likely get harder for our patients. Because our patients are poor, are brown-skinned, are Muslim, are women, are not born in the United States. But as I visited clinics and followed in the footsteps of community health workers, and met mothers getting their children treatment for malnutrition, one thing became clear: Our patients are not giving up the struggle for their right to health care. They are struggling as if their lives depend on it—because their lives do depend on it. And you’d better believe that we are not giving up either.
Here is my hope: Our patients. They are leading us in this struggle with unshakable courage. Our patients have buried their children of diseases they know are curable. But our patients don’t have time for despair. Our patients continue to love and strive for themselves and for their families. Their love must also be ours. Their courage must also be ours.
Ours is the long struggle. Our struggle will outlast media cycles, election cycles, term limits. And we are ready. We will wake up in the middle of the night when our patients knock. We will rise earlier, we will stay longer. Nothing will keep us from our patients. This is what we do.
We are a team of Muslims, Christians, Jews, and people of other and no religious affiliation. We stand against bigotry and hatred, we stand in solidarity and love with our patients of all faiths in their struggle for their right to health. The team building this movement is bigger than any one organization. Our team numbers in the millions. Our team grows every day.
In this moment, we still wield enormous power. It is in our power to deliver healthcare to every person on the planet. It is in our power to end poverty as a cause of death.
It is in our power to make the death of a child a rare event in every community. We can save millions of lives together. All of this is in our power right now. Let us strive to be stronger and braver than the challenges before us. Our patients are counting on us.
With solidarity and love,
Ari Johnson, MD
CEO & Co-founder, Muso