At the Healthy Center in Mpemba, a Health Surveillance Assistant (HSA) distributes Coartem for children, an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria.
Preparing to travel to sub-Saharan Africa brings a host of health requirements and recommendations. Western clinics respond by offering us vaccines and pills and sprays and solutions and nets. Three sets of vials are on the counter in this photo: Meningitis, Polio and Yellow Fever. A few dollars, a few needles and a few minutes later, I’m protected from diseases – more than 10 in all – that continue to take massive toll around the globe. It’s all so easy for us. Yet for millions on the continent where I’m headed, getting such protection is anything but easy. These are some of the things we take for granted.
Having tuberculosis can be imprisoning in so many ways. The symptoms. The stigma. The endless stream of medicines. The isolation from family and friends, work and school. The sheer duration of treatment. It’s a brutal disease that measures its awful toll in months and years.