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Sautso Makiyi

Malawi Meningococcal Teenager Recovery with After Effects Hearing Problems
Sautso Makiyi

Adele Major from Scott Village in Mpemba, Blantyre, Malawi talks to one of our Aspire team at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital about how her 14 year old son Sausto became sick in August 2014.

“Sausto was complaining that he didn’t feel very well so I bought some Panadol from a local market in my village. After four days of giving him Panadol he wasn’t getting any better so I decided to take him to a Health Surveillance Assistant (HSA) who worked in my village. The HSA gave him drugs that he took for almost a week at home, then he was fine for some weeks after taking the medication.

After another few weeks Sausto became sick again and I went back to the HSA and he said we should go to the Mpemba health centre which is the nearest health centre to us and we walked there. 

"The doctors quickly did the lumber puncture and some other tests and said they thought he had meningitis and malaria."

When we got to the health centre we were seen by a clinician who thought that Sausto might have meningitis so he referred him to QECH but before we left they gave him some injections and we were taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 

When we got to the hospital we were helped very fast, as we had come by ambulance we were given first priority. Sausto was taken into an emergency room because of his condition and the doctors thought that he did have meningitis because of the signs he was showing: a stiff neck, headache, high fever and he was convulsing. The doctors quickly did the lumber puncture and some other tests and said they thought he had meningitis and malaria.

We have spent almost a month in hospital and the doctors have given him some injections and other medicine and he has started to recover but he has suffered from after effects. At the moment he can't walk and is now learning to sit down, he is learning to speak and he cannot see using the left eye.

"I do not know what the future holds for my son as he is not talking, walking and cannot see properly at the moment."

I have two other children, an older daughter who is 17 and a younger child who is 10. They have been staying with my with my brother which is a burden to him and I cannot take care of them as I have been in hospital with Sausto. I have not been able to earn any money with my peace work either as I have been at the hospital all the time.

My village has been very supportive but I do not know what the future holds for my son as he is supposed to be in school and has fallen behind as he has been sick and he is not talking, walking or cannot see properly at the moment. I hope he will get better soon.

I had never heard of the disease meningitis before Sausto became sick but i think i would know how to spot it now and as soon as we get out of hospital will be telling my village what to look for if someone is very sick and to tell them how important it is to get medical help quickly.

Adele Major
August 2014

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