Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Malaria Blues

Well, as we say in Russian, this weekend went коту под хвост! On Saturday morning I woke up with my body aching and a mild fever. Since I had those very same symptoms just 4 months before I knew exactly what it was, good old malaria! Oh, how I dread having it! For those of you who have never had it, having malaria is the same feeling as when you survive being put through a meat grinder. The pain is unbelievable! You hurt all over and on the first day you shiver uncontrollably as a 39C (102.2F) degree fever is raging through your body. Next comes the sweats. I mean, buckets of it. I would sit on the sofa watching TV and could feel sweat just pouring down my back. I know, this is gross but it still does not hold a candle to one of my classmate’s rather graphic descriptions of what happens to him after a meal at Chilino’s! ;-) Then there is also the problem of keeping the food down and how do you get better if you can’t eat? Ah, such a pain!

People make a big deal about AIDS in African but hardly anyone mentions malaria. Malaria seems to be making a strong reappearance because it is getting resistant to a lot of the anti-malarial drugs and because of climate change. Nearly 1,000,000 people die from malaria a year. About 3,000 children die from malaria every day in Africa; that is about 1 child every 30 seconds. Pregnant mothers and their unborn children are especially at risk. Because of malaria mothers can suffer from anemia and their children can be born with low birth weight and even die in the womb. The figure of victims of malaria is so much higher than AIDS! These senseless deaths could be averted with just a simple mosquito net. But so many Africans are too poor to be able to buy these nets. There are organizations that try to provide free mosquito nets to Africans. My son’s school several months ago participated in Swim Against Malaria that raised money to help impoverished people buy mosquito nets.

I am happy to tell you that now I am much better due to the modern malaria cure available in Malawi. And now I am struggling to catch up with all my school work. I am leaving you with another song by Scott Gray Productions, Malaria Blues:

Malaria Blues

Woke up one morning with an aching head
I didn’t want to get out of my bed
It felt like a virus could’ve been a flu
Maybe I just drank too much of that brew
Or could it be, I’ve got malaria blues.

Suddenly my temperature started to rise
I could hardly believe my eyes
I looked at my thermometer, it said 45C (113F)
I didn’t think I was going to survive
Could it be, I’ve got malaria blues

Then I started to shiver and shake
All of my joints beginning to ache
My body was burning, my fever was high
I thought I was gonna die
Could it be, I’ve got malaria blues

I went to Doctor Hubbard and said, Help me please!
I think I’ve got the malaria disease
I’m sick as a dog, I don’t feel too well,
Maybe I’m dead and already in hell
Could it be, I’ve got malaria blues

The Doctor said we gonna do the test
To see if you got the malaria pest
Results came back, I’ve got +4 (very serious case of malaria)
That’s when I knew for sure
The Doctor said, You’ve got malaria blues

I said, Doctor help me please
Cause I’m down on my knees
I’ve got malaria disease
I feel like I’m gonna die
Please, don’t let me die

A couple of Fancidar, a jab of Quinine
Other manqualas (meds) that I’ve never seen
Arinate, Mathlequine, pain killers galore (all different brands of malaria medicines)
A course of Doxicycline just to be sure
All because, I’ve got malaria blues

When I got home I went straight to bed
I took my manquala like the Doctor had said
Lying in bed, just tossing and turning
My fever was high and my body was burning
All because, I’ve got malaria blues

I lay there for five full days
Confessing all my sins and my evil ways
It’s a terrible thing to be so ill
So don’t forget to take your malaria pill
Or you will get, malaria blues
It’s a terrible thing, malaria blues.


  1. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my day to day world, that I forget about the rest of the world. Thank you for reminding me how easy I have it, and how thankful I should be for what I have. I hope you get better soon. Is there any charity organizations that I can donate to so that people there can get the nets they need?

  2. All of the aid organizations in Africa have a US base and you can look something up online. Here is a link www.worldswimagainstmalaria.com to the organization that my school donated money to and they use it to buy mosquito nets.

  3. Wow, and I have been irritated because I have temporarily lost my voice. Glad your feeling better.