Saturday, July 5, 2014


People often ask what is the most common illness we treat here at BMC. By far, it has to be malaria. Especially from now to the end of the year after the rains start and mosquitoes are more numerous. So far there is not a vaccine or good preventative medication that will work well for the general population. Fortunately, there are some good drugs for treating the disease once one is sick. The problem is that children have not developed any kind of immunity and tend to get very sick very fast. Every year nearly 700,000 people die from malaria, mostly children.

When we lived in Ghana malaria was fairly easy to treat and there were not so many choices of drugs to use. And I felt like I knew pretty well how to take care of the sick kids and what meds to give. Today I realized that there are more drugs available and recommended. And I have to learn the new treatment regimens.

Some of the drugs available to treat malaria
Chart with guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of malaria

Those of us who are visitors in Ghana usually take medicine to try and prevent malaria. It is not always 100% successful. When we lived in Nalerigu all the time, we could count on getting malaria at least once a year.

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