On Feb 13, 2021, the mother of one of our volunteers was seriously sick. When asked his course of action, he said, “I will invite a nurse to check on her”. Why not a doctor, we asked. “To go to a doctor is very expensive”, he replied. “Why can’t you take her to the hospital”, we persisted. “I am not prepared to take her to the hospital now. I’m thinking that after she is tested at home then I will get her some drugs”.
“What are the symptoms?”, we asked. “It started with weakness, fever, constant sleeping. Her lips and tongue are filled with boils. Right now she can’t reason properly. For the past two days, she didn’t eat anything”. “Can you take a picture of the boils so that we can research it?”, we asked. We told him that the fever may mean that her body is fighting an infection. We further suggested he convince his mother to eat some food so that she may regain some strength. We also suggested that a lot of fluid could help to bring the fever down.
The following day our client reported that a pharmacist did a test and couldn’t find anything. It is unknown why he decided to invite a pharmacist instead of the original plan to invite a nurse. Not that any of the choices would have made a difference . All of his choices, so far, constituted a waste of valuable time that could make a difference between life and death.
“Where are the rest of your relatives; we thought you had a sister?”, we continued our questioning. “I have, but they don’t have money to take our mother to the hospital” , he replied. The latter response shocked us. One would expect the family to rally around and jointly make decisions, with everyone contributing what they can, money or simply words of comfort to their sick mother. But no. Everyone, but our associate stayed away from home because “they had no money”.
When the associate was finally convinced to take his mother to the hospital by sending him some money, under bmpUnited RAMK service, the findings were astonishing. The Packed Cell Volume or PCV was at 21 per cent. The normal level is 35.5 to 44.9 percent. The doctor said she was anemic and required blood transfusion before her infection can be treated with antibiotics. Her blood sugar level was normal.
Lessons learned: Without bmpUnited Advocacy service, our client would have treated his mother with medications prescribed by a nurse without tests conducted in an approved laboratory to backup the prescription. It is no wonder there is rampant avoidable losses of lives.