Friday, August 30, 2019

The Many Weights of Disease

by Josephine Asio, Program Coordinator

Sarah in Mwendanfuko knows that diseases do not only affect your health; they affect you physically, financially, and emotionally.

I met Sarah while conducting house-to-house education with the sub-county Health Assistant. Sometimes people are afraid for us to visit them because they do not have the proper health facilities in place, but that was not the case with Sarah. When we found her, she was with her six-week-old baby and her mother in law, and she was confident that she had the proper facilities because she had experienced tragedy in her family that she never wanted to experience again. In fact, it was such a traumatic experience, that even years later, Sarah became quite emotional while telling her story.

When Sarah’s sister was three months pregnant, she began to bleed. Because of financial constraints, her sister was not able to be taken to the hospital immediately. The next day when they were able to seek treatment, they learned that Sarah’s sister had malaria; while the health care providers did what they could, they were not able to save her, and her sister passed away while in Sarah’s arms.

Because of her traumatic experience, Sarah sought antenatal care early in each of her four pregnancies and heeded the recommendations of the health care providers. Every member of her household sleeps under an insecticide treated mosquito net and they seek care immediately after symptoms arise. In addition to ensuring preventative measures are in place for her family, Sarah also encourages her neighbors to purchase mosquito nets from UVP to keep their families healthy and to avoid tragedy.

Sarah’s story is being used with her permission. If you would like to learn more about our malaria program, visit our website.

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