Noel and Anette recall the stressful experience when N’Simba first contracted malaria
N’Simba is a bright-eyed toddler growing up with his sister Mbangu and parents Noel and Anette in the village of Katenda, in the south of DRC. The country carries one of the heaviest malaria burdens in the world. During a follow-up visit at their home by healthcare workers from Katenda’s community health centre, Noel and Anette recall the stressful experience when N’Simba first contracted malaria.
N'Simba received artesunate rectal capsules
Noel remembers clearly the morning he woke up to find N’Simba burning with fever. “N’Simba started to vomit, the fever persisted, and he refused to be breast-fed,” said Noel. They rushed N’Simba to the community health centre by motorbike. Time was precious and N’Simba’s condition seemed to get worse with each passing minute. On arriving at the community health centre, the nurses quickly tended to N’Simba. After some initial tests, they administered a dose of artesunate rectal capsules and urged Noel and Anette to take N’Simba to the nearest general hospital 50 kilometres away.
Noel and Anette drove him to the hospital by motorbike
With no public transport and a poorly constructed road, the only option for Noel and Anette was to drive N’Simba to hospital by motorbike. On the way, Anette noticed that N’Simba’s fever was starting to drop. Soon after, he even wanted to be fed. “I stopped my bike in the middle of forestland and Anette was able to breastfeed N’Simba,” said Noel. “We were relieved! This was a good sign already.”
Artesunate rectal capsules buy time to access full treatment for severe malaria
After the long ride, they arrived at the hospital, where the doctor applauded the quick reaction on the part of N’Simba’s parents and the nurses at the health centre. N’Simba was prescribed injectable artesunate and ACT to ensure a complete recovery. In remote parts of DRC where small villages do not have fully functional hospitals, initiatives like Community Access to Rectal Artesunate for Malaria (CARAMAL) play an important role in helping people access artesunate rectal capsules and therefore buy time to access full treatment for severe malaria.
Anette concluded by saying, “I really appreciate the efficiency with which my son was treated, and I am also impressed by the routine follow-up checks done through the initiative to ensure that N’Simba completely recovered.”
Source : Diaka T Jules/Alain Mugoto, CARAMAL project