Many of you have asked after Jason and his health. After a night on a drip in a rural hospital and plenty of medications, he’s back in good form. It’s a great relief to us all.
He confessed that he’d missed a couple of doses of his Doxycycline, a daily anti-malaria tablet. That’s never good, but it’s a reminder to all of us to be diligent about taking whatever meds we have been prescribed.
I once heard that regardless of whether a person is taking prophylactic (preventative) medication or not, about one in 10 people will get malaria anyway. Ugh.
So yesterday we had another malaria scare or two or three. Adam (our other leader/driver), Thijs and Dee were all feeling poorly and some of their symptoms pointed to malaria.
We arrived in Dalaba, in the Fouta Djalon region of Guinea, in the late afternoon. It has several clinics and a hospital. All three were taken by taxi to a clinic but the doctor was away (or something) and they ended up at the hospital.
At this stage, it seems no one has malaria. but I thought I’d share an exchange between Dee and her brother-in-law. It gives you an idea about the differences between hospitals and medical practices in the West and West Africa.
Dee: Good thing is that I don’t have malaria. Test and advice all for around $25.
Brother-in-law: Dee, these tests have variable sensitivity and specificity. If I were you I would find a doctor and get him to request more appropriate blood tests that include microscopic examination of blood cells, we use the term thin and thick film examination. There should be a reliable laboratory service available somewhere.
Dee: Thanks for your advice and I love your optimism re tests etc. The pic shows the room I was assessed in. Did I mention that there was no electricity as the generator didn’t get started until after 6pm and there was no water as the whole town has no water plus the fact that the ‘doctor’ who assessed me had completed three years of his studies and was waiting on money to complete the next three. So as you can gather things are a bit tricky regarding a doctor’s referral etc etc.
Brother-in-law: Wow, I can only begin to understand. The West takes so much for granted.
All photos are by Dee.