|Wednesday 26th September - Mozambique - Tofo (Day 3)
We had a rude awakening this morning. Naomi threw up in the tent at about 5.30am. She then seemed very listless and lack-lustre. Back home we wouldnt be too worried kids get sick and then they bounce back. Here, however, we are more concerned because were in prime malaria country. We are all taking anti-malarial drugs, but it is still possible to get malaria.
We immediately decided to pack up and go to a doctor, the nearest being at the hospital in Inhambane (about 25km away). Naomi was sick again and very dozy in the car. We were very impressed by the hospital they seem to be doing a good job at keeping the main thing, the main thing, if you know what I mean. Within an hour we had seen a doctor, been referred to a lab for a malaria test, had the test analysed, had another consultation with the doctor, got a prescription and got the drugs.
The malaria test came back negative (ie she didnt have malaria), but the doctor felt that, given her symptoms, she should just take the secondary course of treatment drugs as a precaution. (Secondary, because we are already taking Larium, if we werent taking anti-malarial drugs she would have been prescribed a primary course). Shes on a 3-day course of coartem, for those of you who are interested.
The rest of today we watched her like hawks. Is she getting better? Is she getting worse? Of-course, like a typical 2 year old there were times during today when she seemed ill and there were other times when she seemed perfectly OK and youd be forgiven for thinking we were being over-protective, edgy parents. She hasnt been sick again, shes been more sleepy than usual, shes had diahorrea again and she hasnt been eating as well as wed expect from our little piggy wiggy.
This afternoon we spoke to a couple of other people who live with children here in Inhambane one of them was the South African lady who runs the Internet cafe and has 2 grandchildren living here and the other was the (French I think) man who runs the horse-riding centre and has two young children. We asked them about how they handle the malaria risk. Living here permanently, their children cant be continuously on anti-malarial drugs like the Larium that we are taking. Their approach was to take the usual precautions (nets, repellent, covering up at dusk etc) and then, if they suspect that an ill child has malaria, they immediately give them a course of drug treatment. Living here they have learnt when to suspect malaria. Both of them reassured us that wed done the right thing and encouraged us not to be too concerned.
So that was today.