World Malaria Day: Brian’s Story

The story of Brian Otieno, a 4 year old boy from Kirambo village in Kenya, is one of far too many in rural areas plagued with malaria. Brian lives roughly four miles away from our partner, Med25’s clinic. His mother, Grace, brought Brian in for treatment after Brian had displayed symptoms of fever, body weakness, and loose stools for a week.Before arrival at the clinic, Grace had been treating Brian with herbal medicine that her mother-in-law, who believed Brian to be bewitched, suggested. After physical examination and laboratory investigations, Brian was diagnosed with severe malaria and herbal intoxication. Unfortunately, these two conditions are highly fatal if not addressed with medical precision. It requires treatment with intravenous antimalarial medicines until the child is stable enough to take medication orally. These treatments are performed in an in-patient facility, and therefore Brian was referred to another facility for further management.Brian was facing several of the barriers to receiving care including accessibility, transportation, and cost. Brian was referred to an in-patient facility roughly 28 miles away in Homabay which is not only far away, but a very expensive option. He was up against time as well as the cost and availability of transportation. We may never know exactly what happened next in Brian’s story, but together we can work to prevent others from the situation that Brian faced.The 30/30 Project is proud to partner with Med25 in launching phase two of our collaboration. As this story illustrates, there is a dramatic need for quality, affordable in-patient care in the Mbita region of Kenya. This summer Construction for Change will deploy a project manager to Kenya to oversee construction of a brand new in-patient ward that will expand the level of services available at the Med25 Mbita clinic. This expansion will not only positively impact the local community, but also qualify Med25 to be a part of the national insurance program, effectively funding the operations of the new ward. More to come soon on this exciting project.