Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi
The family of 18-year-old Abuk Akuoc, semi-conscious and letting out cries of pain, holds her still on a bed at Panthou health care center in preparation for the IV that the nurse will administer in order to give Abuk a treatment of quinine for her severe malaria. Abuk's family brought her to the health center from their village, called Malithbuol, by motorcycle, which they hired for 30 SSP. The journey took 15 minutes, but it would have taken one hour on foot. This wasn't the first time she had been at the health center: the previous week they had brought her in, suffering from malaria. She had been prescribed ACT but at the time, the health center had none in stock. It had run out back on August 17th. So, they instructed her to purchase it in the market. But the family couldn't find any ACT there either. It wasn't in stock. So they bought only paracetamol. Last night, Abuk didn't eat and complained of a headache. This morning, when she was cooking, she collapsed. Her family had never seen anything like this and didn't know what malaria looked like until now. Panthou health care center is the only one in Aweil South county and is currently treating about 150 malaria patients per day. They had just received a supply of ACT oral medication for malaria; their previous stock had ran out on August 17. This new stock will likely run out in one or two weeks. They have quinine, but not a lot, so they reserve it for serious cases. They have no RDT (rapid detection tests), so diagnosis is only done clinically based on observed symptoms.