Friday, May 6, 2011

April Showers bring... Malaria.

One of my patients with her new mosquito net.
The rains are late this year... or so I’m told.

Normally, the glowering grey nimbostratus clouds start in April, but this year they just now arrived. Smotheringly low, these mantles of would-be water threaten showers but rarely satisfy. Occasionally they breathe small gusts of chilly delight, causing this blistered land to shiver in momentary hope; and then it’s gone.

More heat. Sweat. Heavy air.

The only ones truly happy about it are.... the mosquitoes.     

Yes, we’ve traded the dry, merciless days of summer for mosquitoes. We’ve escaped the 120 degree weather only to run into the arms of bloodsucking beasts.

Malaria season has begun!

Honestly, the annoying high-pitched hum of my would-be assailant sets me on edge.

But slapping my leg at the slightest movement, covering my limbs in greasy DEET, and meticulously tucking my mosquito net in at night, seem useless. By the end of the day, I still end up bit to pieces. Am I just wasting my time?

Last year, I got malaria twice.

Fair enough, I wasn’t as anal as I could have been about protecting myself. I didn’t take the antimalarials prophylactically, and I only slathered myself in DEET when it tickled my fancy. But still...

Don’t get me wrong, malaria sucks! But... it’s such a hassle. (Insert pathetic whining voice here.)

I hate having to remember to take antimalarials. I don’t want to wear DEET (it’s so nasty). Plus... sleeping under a mosquito net can be stifling.

Sigh.

Okay, rant over.

Please pray that this year, the malaria won’t be so bad. Pray for all the women and children in this community that have to face malaria without prophylactic medications, mosquito nets or even that nasty DEET!

Fortunately, we have free mosquito nets to give all our preggos again. Thank you GOSS (Government of Southern Sudan). Pray that the women will actually use them... even though they can be stifling.

Also pray that the rain clouds would actually start depositing their oceans of blessings on this land. I’m ready for things to grow again.