As I walk into the Dzake Clinic, I am greeted by patients waiting to be seen. I take my seat at the Triage table and start to check in my next patient. He is a beautiful 12-month-old named Samson. His Grandmother has brought him in because he has been vomiting and not able to eat for a day.
As I start to exam him, I notice that he is very lethargic, weak, not easily aroused, and burning up with fever. I take his temperature, and it is 40.2 C (104.36 F). I quickly give him a Paracetamol suppository and start cool sponge baths to get his body temperature down. As I am doing this, the Nurse Practitioner orders an IV of Artesunate. I start the IV going, and poor little Samson just moaned too weak to even cry. Slowly we see him begin to rouse, and eventually, he is awake and able to take some sips of water. Baby Samson is diagnosed with malaria.
This is a very common occurrence at the clinic. Malaria doesn’t discriminate against age, gender, race, or social economic status. If you are bitten by a malaria-infected mosquito, then you will most likely contract the disease. You can have mild or complicated symptoms, but, none-the-less, you will need to be treated.
Samson was able to go home with his Grandmother later that day and will return in one week for a review. Hopefully, he will have fully recovered.
Ghana is one of the Countries that is working hard to eradicate malaria, but it still has a long way to go.
With continued education, improved healthcare, preventative measures, and available medications, this is a disease that can be eradicated, and patients like little Samson can live a healthier, happier life.
Please continue to keep our siblings in Christ, healthcare workers, and our partner churches in Ghana in your prayers.
Debbie Colvin serves with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, OGHS, and your special gifts.