The word brings a fear factor to many. Indeed it is a deadly disease when it goes untreated. Sometimes a pupil comes back to school after a day off saying they had malaria- I have always been skeptical, even more so now.
I write this from a hospital ward where my wife has been admitted overnight and is on a drip. The ultimate cause – malaria!
It all started last Thursday when Anita woke up in the middle of the night with flu-like symptoms and feeling very chill. Remember we live on the equator where it does not ever really get cold. In the morning she went in to work and was sent home again. Then the fever started – we did a Malaria test using a kit, but it was negative. As the weekend wore on the fevers and chills became more intense until by Monday we went out and bought our own Malaria testing kit. A definite positive -so off to the local medical clinic (it is always wise to check yourself before going to the clinic as malaria is a common diagnosis – hence the pupils off for a day!).
Actually our local clinic is good and we trust the doctor – he confirmed malaria and prescribed medication. Anita, by now very feverish and weak was admitted for a few hours to give her fluids and medication.
Back home and medication in hand we were to return each day at 4pm for anti-malarial injections.
So today we returned, but instead of a routine injection we found her blood pressure had dropped to 50/30 – a lack of fluids and food bring a major contributing factor.
Malaria is a nasty disease – much worse than anything I have seen before. With rest and medication she will recover, due to swift medical treatment. Many across this continent have no such option and will die of the disease – a sobering thought