Meningitis in your words

Sherifa Adam's story

  • Location: Malawi
  • Categories: Meningococcal
  • Age: Baby 0-1
  • Relationship: Parent
  • Outcome: Full recovery
Sherifa Adam

Sherifa was born on 25th September 2014 and I first noticed she was unwell three days after she was born. I have two other children who are 7 and 3 so know when something is wrong with my child.

She had a very high temperature but I thought she just had malaria so I waited for a day to see how she was and then went to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where they tested her for malaria. The test was negative so we were sent home and Sherifa was fine for a few days but then started not feeling well again. Her temperature was far too high and she was just crying uncontrollably so I decided to get medical help again.

We caught the mini bus and as it was a Sunday I went straight to the hospital with her as my local health centre in Chirimba does not open on Sundays. 

"I didn’t know about meningitis before Sherifa became ill but I think I could spot the symptoms now."

When I got to the hospital the nurse asked me what was wrong with my child so I explained her symptoms of a high temperature and crying and the nurse tested Sherifa again for malaria but the test came back negative again. A doctor came and checked her over and decided that they should do a lumbar puncture and after some time Sherifa was put on oxygen. The doctors have done some tests and they think she has meningitis, we are waiting for results but they are treating her with medication that should help her.

We have been here for four days now and my sister is looking after my other children as my husband Sherif is a business man who sells cooking oil in the market which he buys from Mangochi and Mozambique. 

I hope Sherifa will get better but we won’t know if she has suffered any after effects from the disease for a while as she is still so young.

I didn’t know about meningitis before Sherifa became ill but I think I could spot the symptoms now. When people come to visit us and when we get out of hospital I plan to tell them what to look for when someone is sick and that they have to get medical help quickly.

Asiyatu Adam
October 2014