Saturday, January 26, 2008


About 40% of the world’s population is at risk of malaria.
That’s 2.5 billion people at risk.
Over 500 million become severely ill with malaria per year.
And more than 1 million die from the effects of the disease.
Malaria is especially a serious problem in Africa.
There, 1 in 5 childhood deaths is due to the effects of malaria.
An African child has 1.6 - 5.4 episodes of malaria per year.


Just think, while you are reading this post, at least one child will die of malaria. In my opinion, that is unacceptable! What is the answer? It sounds simple: early diagnosis and prompt & effective treatment. In the West this is logical. Get in the car, go to the nearest doctor/hospital, get some tests done, get a diagnosis, receive treatment, and go home. Unfortunately, in an impoverished country like Sierra Leone, nothing is simple. In a place where the health care infrastructure has been devastated by years of war, there is no easy answer. A long list of obstacles keep children from receiving prompt treatment. Too many reasons to get into now. Some are: Lack of Accesibility, Availability and Affordability of QUALITY healthcare. Even prevention of the disease is difficult in a country with very limited resources; limited stock of bednets, with poor methods of distribution, informal fees being charged etc. The list is long.

Malaria is a daily occurrence in our pediatric clinic. From mild cases to very severe cases. Children that can take treatment on an outpatient basis, children that need to be referred for admission. Children that survive, children that die. We can provide proper diagnosis and treatment and even teach on prevention but even though we did 7,245 consultations last year, there are so many children in the Freetown area alone that never made it to a clinic with similar care. We do what we can and hope and pray for a positive change in the healthcare system. People are trying...

This little boy came to the clinic last week. He was actually very happy but had a 2 day history of fever. His lab test: Malaria POSITIVE. This child was lucky. First of all, he wasn’t very sick. But most importantly, his mother took him to a clinic. And she chose a clinic where lab tests and effective treatment are available. Hopefully she will give him the medication as prescribed! And this child will survive...

Facts from

1 comment:

Meulkids said...

he's a cutey!

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~