Meningitis in your words

Gift Obedi's story

  • Location: Malawi
  • Categories: Bacterial meningitis
  • Age: Child 6-12
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: Co-ordination problems
Gift Obedi

Mum Malita Basiyano from Mdeka tells us how her ten year old son Gift became ill in March 2014. 

Gift was complaining that he was not feeling well and I thought he might have malaria. 

He didn’t seem to be getting any better so I hired a bicycle because it would take too long to walk to Mdeka health centre. As soon as we arrived we were seen straight away as Gift had fallen unconscious. They did not know what was wrong with him and he was referred to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital as the doctor at the clinic said he could not treat a child in his condition. 

We used public transport to get to QECH because Gift was becoming worse and it would be a waste of time waiting for an ambulance because most of the times the ambulance comes very late.

"Instead of preparing for the harvest I have been in hospital with him."

When we got to QECH, Gift was quickly seen by doctors and they thought he might have meningitis, so they decided he should be tested for meningitis and also malaria and the test results proved them to be right. He was given some injections to treat both conditions and is still recovering in hospital after 9 days of first being admitted.

Gift is still very weak and is learning to walk and to speak again. It has been difficult whilst he has been ill as I am a widow and am a farmer. My other children are grown up so do not need me to look after them but it’s almost harvest time and instead of preparing for the harvest I have been in hospital with him. 

I am worried about Gift’s future because his education has been disturbed and I do not know if he might catch the disease again. 

I do think I could spot meningitis again because of this experience with the disease and am planning to tell her family and people in the village about the dangers of the disease when Gift has been discharged from the hospital.

Malita Basiyano
June 2015