Skip to main content

Fighting the Battle

Malaria is a killer disease and it's a common disease.  The mosquitoes that transmit malaria are extremely common and numerous.  And it seems that half of them live in our house.  I have never, ever lived in a house that has as many mosquitoes as this one.  In Tera we could sit outside in the evening and get bit less than we do inside here.  It seems that we wage constant battle against mosquitoes even though we have good screens on our windows that don't seem to be full of holes.

We have a handy tennis racket zapper.  This is extremely satisfying when you make connection with a mosquito and hear the frying sound.  However, it doesn't just work on its own.  It requires that a person picks it up and makes contact with a mosquito.  So, it doesn't work so well if you're trying to eat dinner or sleep.

We have a new little contraption another family told us about.  It has blue LED lights which apparently attract mosquitoes.  There is also a small fan inside.  So when the mosquitoes come to check out the light, the fan sucks them in and they die.  This contraption works best at night.  And we can't stand the light in our bedroom, but we've been leaving it on all night in the living room.  Look what we find in it in the morning.  Yes, that is only one night.  I think I like this little machine!

Insect repellent is a must for when we will be outside in the evenings.  John always makes sure to wear long trousers and socks, but sorry, that's not an option for me.  Yes, I know, I could wear socks with my wrapper or skirt, but, no, that's not going to happen!  I even put this on in the evenings in the house sometimes.  Did you know mosquitoes are out most at dusk and the evening and around dawn?

We sleep under a mosquito net.  I would rather not, but when we were waking up with blood smears all over the sheets from our mosquito bites we decided a net was a very good idea.

And we take a prophylaxis....a medicine to prevent illness.  There are three good choices, but we've settled on doxycyline which we take daily.   Woops!  Kitty photo-bombed that one! 

All of this seems to be working as I've only had malaria once and John's only had it least since we've been married.  But I almost died, so we take prevention seriously.

But what about our friends and neighbors who can't afford all these contraptions, creams, and medicines?  What do they do?  I guess the answer is obvious....they get malaria.  And many of them die.

The WHO has an interesting fact-sheet about malaria which you can check out here.  

Many people here do use mosquito nets and the government often gives insecticide treated nets to people and to pregnant women, especially.  But since most people sleep outside, it's not long until the net is ruined.  We're not talking about wheeling a nice bed outside, we're talking about sleeping on a mat on the ground.

Small children and pregnant women are most vulnerable to malaria.  Malaria is also more severe in those suffering from malnutrition as their bodies are already weak.  Malaria season (rainy season, but especially the end of the rainy season) also coincides with harvest season when people come home exhausted at the end of each day from the physical labor of their fields.  It is also the end of the "hungry time"...people haven't eaten well since their food ran out some time in March or April, or earlier.

Right now the doctors at our mission-run hospital in Galmi are maxed out with treating malaria patients.  
They see more patients during September and October than in any other time period.  Can you please pray for them as they deal with constant sickness and dying?  Will you pray that they can find creative days to work their shifts so that each doctor and nurse gets the rest they need?  Pray for the medical staff to provide quality, competent health care while showing the compassion for Christ, even when they are exhausted.

We praise God that we are in good health, but continue to pray for God's protection from illness.


Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

2016 in Review

Let's take a look at the year 2016.

January's big events were the dedication of the Tamajaq New Testament, our annual Spiritual Life Conference, helping friends find a house, a trip to visit missionaries in the bush, attended a big wedding, and celebrated John's birthday. It was a pretty busy month.  My January picture is from our trip to the bush and shows baobab trees.  

February was a little less crazy.  John started taking moolo lessons.  February is the time of year when the fresh fruits and veggies are in season so I did a lot of work to freeze veggies for the hot months ahead.  This picture isn't terribly exciting, but a year after the church burnings this church we helped plant back in 1989 finally had a new ceiling and a fresh coat of paint.

In March we attended another big wedding, froze more veggies, celebrated Easter, and visited a church in another town.  John and I have visited a lot of churches in the past three years as he has done research for his doctora…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…