Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi
MSF outreach manager and nurse Abdifatah Mohamed administers a rapid detection test (RDT) for diagnosing malaria. Akuot Yel holds the patient, her four-year-old son, Agok. Abdifatah encountered them walking from their village of Maluil to the nearby private clinic in town. Yesterday, Akuot took her son to the government-run primary health care unit (PHCU) nearby but they found nobody there. It was closed. PHCUs have no trained personnel to administer quinine intravenously, and often have no oral ACT medication in stock, so they do not open at all, thinking that there is nothing for them to do for patients that come in, the vast majority of which suffer from malaria. The private clinic in town would have cost Akout 15 SSP for the test, and 80 SSP to purchase the medicine needed. Akuot has two twins at home who are also ill, but Agok's state was most serious. Akuot can't afford medication for three sick children all at once so she tried to take care of Agok first. She could have received free medicine at the the government-run health care center in Panthui, but the walk will take about two hours, and there was no guarantee that they will have medicine in stock. The PHCU has a car to provide free transportation for patients that need to be referreed to Panthou health care center for treatment, but that wasn't an option for Agok since they found the PHCU closed. Later, Abdifatah also found Agok had symptoms of severe anemia. Abdifatah, en route to Panthui, offered Akuot and Agok a ride to the health care center there. At home, they use a mosquito net that they received from an NGO who distributed them in the area two years ago. It is old now and tearing.