October 2020: Healing Presence
God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29
As I walked into the Dzake Clinic, I was greeted by patients waiting to be seen. I took my seat at the triage table and checked in my next patient. He was a beautiful 12-month-old named Samson. His grandmother brought him in because he had been vomiting and was not able to eat.
As I examined him, I noticed he was very lethargic, weak, and burning with fever. I took his temperature and it was 104 degrees. Quickly, I gave him acetaminophen and started cool sponge baths to get his body temperature down. As I did this, the Nurse Practitioner ordered an IV. I started the IV, but poor little Samson just moaned, too weak to even cry. Slowly, we saw him begin to rouse, and eventually, he was awake and able to take sips of water. Baby Samson was diagnosed with malaria.
This is a very common occurrence at the clinic. Malaria doesn’t discriminate by 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, nonetheless, you will need to be treated.
Samson was able to go home with his grandmother later that day and was scheduled to return one week later for a recheck. Hopefully, he will fully recover.
Ghana is one of the countries working hard to eradicate malaria, but it is a difficult challenge. With continued education, improved healthcare, preventative measures, and available medications, this disease 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.