In February 2020 the On Call Africa team of doctors arrived at Mukamba health post to set up their clinic for the day. There was a queue of over 70 patients waiting to see the doctors with a variety of health concerns. While setting up clinic it became clear that an 8 year old boy was critically ill and needed urgent attention.
Doctors were setting up clinic for the day Community Health Workers and On Call Africa staff were handing out number cards to let patients know when they would be attended to.
Whilst this is being done, Community Health Workers triage patients and use their learning to help identify any patients that may need to be seen urgently. Titus (one of our Community Health Workers) identified that a young boy was critically ill with a severe fever. He asked if he could be seen first and, suggested to the doctor in question that symptoms were consistent with cerebral malaria.
When the patient sat down with his mother and brothers the doctor quickly realised that the whole family were unwell and in need of quick attention. The doctor agreed with the assessment made by Titus and conducted malaria tests on the whole family. While testing was being carried out one of the boys started to fit, a sign that the malaria was extremely severe. The team of doctors responded quickly to set up an IV drip with quinine to provide rapid treatment to the patient. Clinic was put on hold while the team of 4 doctors worked together with the Community Health Workers to provide life saving support and to ensure that the rest of the family were provided with malaria medication, including a young baby. While being attended to the baby vomited, it was clear that the whole family needed urgent care in a hospital. While two doctors and two Community Health Workers attended to the family the remaining Community Health Workers quickly triaged the remaining patients to identify any others that were critically ill and in need of support. These patients were attended to while On Call Africa staff packed up the vehicle and prepared to depart.
For more recent stories and news about what we are up to at On Call Africa click here