We had a visit from a past patient a few weeks ago. Marie Wehgar had brought her son, Abraham, to the clinic back in January for a sick visit. Abraham ended up having 4+ Malaria (which means that most of his Red Blood Cells had been infected by the parasite) and a Hemoglobin of 3.0… which is the lowest Hemoglobin I’ve ever seen! We immediately sent for a motorbike and referred Marie and her son to St. Francis in Cestos.
We’re never sure just what happens to our patients after we refer them to the hospital. Often times we find out that the patient never went. Many parents disregard the referral due to the difficulty in traveling to St. Francis and the cost they’ll incur once they arrive (food, medicines, lodging). They worry about how to notify their family of where they’ve gone and who will take care of their other children while they’re away. Luckily for Abraham, his mother understood the gravity of the situation and didn’t hesitate to make the trip.
Abraham was treated in St. Francis for severe Malaria and received a blood transfusion (from his mom). Marie brought him back to the clinic to say thank-you and left us with a basket full of ripe plantains. 🙂