Malaria is endemic throughout much of Africa. I was surprised to learn that most people, including the hospital staff, are frequently infected with the disease. During my first week in the DRC, one of the residents asked if she could go home early. She later told me she had malaria and just “needed a few hours to rest”.
Unfortunately, not all Africans simply get a “mild” case of malaria. We had a patient present to Heal Africa with fever and changes in his behavior. After a work-up, he was diagnosed with cerebral malaria. Soon, his clinical status worsened and he was admitted to the intensive care unit.
I took the following video as his illness progressed (the mother gave consent for the video in order to educate and encourage people to help). The patient died shortly afterwards from this devastating disease.