Bad air is what they thought used to cause it back in the day. Back when the great white explorers with pith helmets would catch malaria in deep dark Africa and lie for days hallucinating with fevers. Mal-aria, while we know it’s not the mysterious air of Africa that causes the disease the effects are still as devastating as ever. And even though we have better medication than the quinine the ye olde fellas had, it is still a disease that kills. It’s Africa’s biggest killer.
We’ve been reminded of this the last week. Our friend last week came down with malaria and seemed to be going ok for a few days with the meds I gave him but then all of a sudden he crashed and was literally on deaths door. He was carried into hospital, semi-passed out from dehydration. Amazingly they had IV fluids and IV meds. He still needed two nights in the termite ridden, smelly hospital before he could go home to continue recovery.
Then, on the weekend Kath also got hit with the dreaded bad air. While we have all the meds and knowledge of the epidemiology, we still considered taking Kath to the same hospital … That’s a big decision!! Days later she has turned the corner and seems to be on the mend. It’s taken a long time and I’m not sure I have seen her so sick and for so long. It is brutal.
Actually the village is full of people with malaria at the moment. They don’t have meds on hand, or electrolytes. Some are too scared of going to the hospital and most certainly don’t have friend with a car to drive them there. I’m not saying this as a guilt inducing way of wrapping up a blog post, but it is good to remember how most people live and how fortunate we are to have options when we get sick.