Meningitis in your words

Jane Ngalande's story

  • Location: Malawi
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Child
  • Outcome: Recovery with after effects
  • After effects: After Effects
Jane Ngalande

Jane Ngalande (28) from Kabula in Blantyre talked to Aspire field supervisor Berndetta Payesa at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) 3days after her 5 month old daughter Tapiwa was admitted to the hospital with suspected meningitis at the end of May 2014.

When Tapiwa first became sick I thought she had malaria because of the signs she was showing of vomiting and a high temperature.

She started vomiting on Friday night and the temperature was so high that she didn’t sleep well at all that night so I took her to the Namadzi health facility first thing on Saturday morning. When the doctor saw Tapiwa he said he thought she had malaria so they tested her for that but the results were negative, the doctor just gave her drugs to stop her from vomiting and sent us home.

"I had never heard of meningitis before"

When we got back from the health centre I spent all day watching Tapiwa and she didn’t seem to get any better so I called my husband, Kennedy, who was at work in our shop and told him she wasn’t getting any better. He told me just to take her on public transport to QECH.

When we got to the hospital we were quickly helped by doctors who thought that Tapiwa had malaria, so they did another malaria test but that came back negative as well. They decided to admit her as the doctors started suspecting she might have sepsis and they have done the test but the results are not yet out. They have given her some drugs to stop her vomiting and injections as well as drugs to make her better.

"We have our own shop so her being ill has affected the whole family’s welfare"

I think that Tapiwa will get better if she receives the proper medication so we just need to wait for her test results to get the correct treatment.

I hope that she will get better soon as I have one other child and my husband has had to look after them whilst I have been at the hospital with Tapiwa. We have our own shop so her being ill has affected the whole family’s welfare because I have been in the hospital instead of working with my husband in the shop.

I had never heard of meningitis before the doctors at the hospital said that is what Tapiwa might have, I just thought she had malaria. When I get back to the village I will tell them about the disease and what to look out for.

Jane Ngalande
May 2014