Beatrice Mphaya from Chileka talked to our Action Meningitis Field Supervisor Bernadetta in QECH about her 13 year old son Rodney who is being treated for meningitis.
My son Rodney had suffered from sickness from the age of 3 years up to the age of 8 years but it was always diagnosed as Malaria. He did suffer from occasional headaches but had never been to hospital until he became very sick again in February.
He started to become unwell again and I thought he just had another attack of malaria but overnight he started complaining that he had a terrible headache so in the morning I took public transport and went to Chileka health facility. My other children were looked after by their father.
The clinician who saw us said that Rodney had malaria and we were referred to QECH to receive further treatment because he did not have enough blood. We got taken to QECH by ambulance and when we arrived we were treated as an emergency and Rodney was given a blood transfusion and they ran tests on him. They did a lumbar puncture 3 times and the doctors were sure it was meningitis so they started treating him with meningitis drugs.
So far he has spent 5 days in the hospital and is recovering well but still complaining of a stiff neck. Since Rodney has been in hospital people from my village have come to visit us.
Beatrice said: “ I do not think Rodney’s future is going to be bright because the sickness he has suffered from throughout his life has disturbed his education and he doesn’t concentrate well and is behind in his schooling. I think that I would be able to spot signs of meningitis in any other person because I saw what happened to my son and I will be telling my village what to look for when someone is sick when we get back home.”