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Hestings Mononga

Malawi Unknown meningitis and septicaemia (sepsis) type Baby 0-1 Full Recovery
Hestings Mononga

Flora Mononga from Chilipa village in Mdeka, Blantyre tells us how her son Hestings contracted meningitis when he was two months old in November 2014.

My baby son Hestings became unwell during the evening. I thought that he had malaria because his temperature was too high, he was crying too loud and uncontrollably and he kept shaking his arms.

I gave him aspirin during the night hoping that it would make him better and I was trying really hard to stop him crying.  

"I took Hestings to Mdeka health facility and we walked there because there was no other means of transport."

I wanted to get medical help that night because the aspirin was not helping him, but I had to wait until morning because it was too dark to walk to the clinic. In the morning I took Hestings to Mdeka health facility and we walked there because there was no other means of transport.

When I got to the clinic the doctors also thought he had malaria so they did a malaria test on him but the results were negative. They gave him Panadol and amoxyline and said I was to give it to him three times a day for three days and sent us home. 

I gave Hestings the medicine during the afternoon but still there was no change, he was still crying, his temperature was still too high and he looked really weak, so I decided to go back to the clinic the same afternoon.

By the time we got there Hestings was unconscious so they referred us straight to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. 

There was no ambulance to take us to the hospital so we had to go by public transport and as soon we entered the hospital we were taken into the emergency room because Hestings was still unconscious. In the emergency room the doctors took some blood samples for them to do some tests, while waiting for the results we were taken to the ward. Later they did a lumbar puncture on him but they didn’t tell me what blood tests had been done.

The results came back from the lumbar puncture and the doctors said my son had meningitis. The doctors have been giving him some injections and we have been in the hospital for over a week now.

"I haven’t noticed any after effects yet as he is still too young, but I think he has a bright future."

Hestings’ sickness has had a huge impact on the family. My mother in-law, who is very old, has been taking care of my other child who is nearly three. My husband sells tomatoes at a local market so he has not been able to care for Hestings’ sibling.

I haven’t noticed any after effects yet as he is still too young, but I think he has a bright future. I know that he is getting the right treatment for the disease and hopefully this will stop him having any problems when he is older. 

I think I would be able to spot meningitis if anyone else was sick and have told the family members who have visited us at the hospital about what to look for and that they need to get medical attention very quickly. I will make sure I tell the rest of the village when Hestings has been discharged and we are back home. 

Flora Mononga
November 2014

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