MSF Blogs: 18-Month-Old Bahati’s Struggle to Survive Severe Malaria
Time is everything—delay treatment and the parasites multiply unchecked and the child reaches a point of no return. Lejuif—the nurse on duty—and I started with the sickest looking child, 18-month-old Bahati. His feet were cold, signalling he was in shock. He didn’t respond when we rubbed him vigorously on his chest—he was in a coma—and his chest heaved up and down. He had severe respiratory distress. His hemoglobin, the measure of how much oxygen his red blood cells could carry, was very low. He needed an immediate blood transfusion.
This post originally appeared on the Guardian’s (UK) “Poverty Matters” blog.
DRC 2011 © Robin Meldrum/MSF
Like Bahati, three-year-old Jean Marc is being treated by MSF for severe malaria.