|Malaria mosquito on arm|
Not to scare anyone but we have noticed an upswing in sickness among our members and friends here in Mbuji-Mayi. One brother complained of a severe headache and looked ashen (if possible). After a trip to the hospital, he now is very weak and “faible” (feeble). The sister who shops and cleans for us also has malaria. She didn’t come yesterday so we’re short on vegetables.
From Wikipedia: “Each year, there are more than 225 million cases of malaria, killing around 781,000 people each year, 2.23% of deaths worldwide. The majority of deaths are of young children in sub-Saharan Africa. (That’s us here in the Congo.) Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, and can indeed be a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.” There is a billboard at the top of our street advocating the use of mosquito nets, but many don’t use them. Extreme poverty probably precludes obtaining them, even with government programs in place.
From Wikipedia: “Symptoms of malaria include fever, shivering, arthralgia (joint pain), vomiting, anemia, hemoglobinuria, retinal damage, and convulsions. The classic symptom of malaria is cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness followed by rigor and then fever and sweating lasting four to six hours, occurring every two days…. Children with malaria frequently exhibit abnormal posturing, a sign indicating severe brain damage. Malaria has been found to cause cognitive impairments, especially in children. It causes widespread anemia during a period of rapid brain development and also direct brain damage. This neurologic damage results from cerebral malaria to which children are more vulnerable.”
|We take one "after-dinner mint" each day|
From Wikipedia: “Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of inexpensive mosquito nets.” We use the mosquito net we bought at REI. The missionaries are all issued nets treated to repel mosquitoes, but some don’t use their nets. We also take one doxycycline capsule each day, careful to take it with dinner and with lots of water. There goes your mother’s admonition not to “drown your food”. We can’t wait to return home if for no other reason than to stop taking the “green after-dinner mint”.
Ann wondered if catastrophic disease is a feature of our “Fallen World” from the beginning with Adam and Eve. Did the Egyptians suffer from malaria? The Bible speaks of leprosy. Disease is certainly part of our Earthly test of faith that there is indeed life after death and a resurrection from all pain and sorrow. “God will wipe away all tears” is mentioned several times in scripture. Luckily this earth life is very short in comparison to eternity. [Short indeed! Today we received an invitation to the
42nd Franco-Belgian Missionary Reunion
Time flies when you’re having fun, and so far this life has been “fun”. Family makes life fun. Thanks to our family. Thanks for all the nice photos.
Hopefully, we’ll find a blog topic more positive next time.
Elder William and Sister Ann Moore
p.s. One of the members called Sister Moore: “Soeur Elder Moore”