Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi
32-year-old Arek Nuoi, mother of four, receives an IV treatment of quinine for malaria after she was brought to Panthou government health care center unconscious, carried on a bicycle by her three brothers-in-law. "Yesterday, we were here [in Panthou] for market day, and she was okay," said one of her brothers-in-law. "Last night she had a headache and then body pain," continued her mother. "This morning, I went to collect the local tree," she explained, referring to the traditional plant medicine for headaches and other pain. When she returned, she found Arek collapsed and vomiting. The family tied a chair onto a bicycle and placed Arek in the chair. They then pushed it all the way from their home village of Maper to the Panthou health center. The journey took one and a half hours. At home they have a mosquito net and always sleep under it, but none of them knew how malaria is contracted. 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 run out on August 17. The 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.