When your child is sick with malaria
The blog posts you had in mind to write is the last thing on your mind. I mean, in tropical Africa on the one hand, it is just another day with play at home, plenty fluids, and ice cream in the afternoon – not so much different from a weekend without play dates.
On the other hand, it is a time where I deeply connect with parents in this region who feel a hot forehead and it means more than a few days of recuperation at home. I think of families who live much further from a clinic than we do, cannot travel there in the comfort of their own air conditioned car, and do not simply hand over their health insurance to the nursing station before seeing the doctor.
My body aches for the parents who maybe have to go door to door, knocking, to look for the money needed for transport and care of their little one, increasingly weaker by the minute. In Ghana, malaria is endemic and has affected history and continues to shape contemporary life. It kills, and according to WHO Ghana reported more than 2500 malaria deaths in 2014, but it also cast its net wide as more than 1.5 million people were reported ill with malaria over the same time. That means, malaria is seen as nothing more than a bad cold. “Take your meds and rest”.
Now my malaria-ridden kid (or maybe it is not malaria, the test came back negative, but the zealous doctor still wanted to do the treatment) is sleeping here next to me and I feel mostly calm and grateful. When she wakes up, I will give her more paracetamol. I have food in my fridge and money in my bag. I have the doctor’s cell phone number if her condition is not better by tomorrow.
Can you tell I am still worried?
This post is the second in my new series of more personal posts to be posted on Fridays, Personal Fridays. Although, I have to admit today is Saturday.