Akimo must get to the hospital urgently
Three year old Akimo is suffering from severe malaria. He is fighting for his life and is in and out of consciousness. Mercy Air is flying the little patient to hospital.
A very common illness
Malaria is still very common in southern Africa. The parasite is transferred by the female Anopheles mosquito. Malaria symptoms includes cycles of very high fever, fatigue and shivering. Most patients also complain about severe headaches.
Symptoms typically occur within 10 to 15 days after a mosquito bite transfers the Plasmodium parasite from another infected person.
The disease quickly leads to seizures, coma and even death especially among children.
A devastated mother
For days, Akimo's mother Torina is very concerned. Her son is barely responsive.
The boy is glowing from high fever and often loses consciousness. He is also suffering from terrible cramps.
There is absolutely no medical care in their bush village of Nkonde. The closest hospital in the town of Marromeu is a three day hike away. In addition to such great distance this hike is very dangerous due to many wild animals.
On that particular day a Mercy Air helicopter was transporting teaching teams into the area. The bush village of Nhamapaza was one of the destinations. The village chief announces the anticipated arrival and mother Torina realizes that this is her last hope - otherwise Akimo will die. She straps her son onto her back and hikes for three hours to the village of Nhamapaza.
Akimo is immediately flown to Marromeu. Instead of a hike that would require several days the helicopter flight takes only 21 minutes.
At the hospital Akimo receives special malaria treatment for children. His temperature lowers quickly and the cramps subside. In a week the boy's condition has improved significantly. Mother Torina is very happy: " Akimo can get up again. In a few days we will be able to return to Nkonde. What a blessing, that our son has survived this severe illness!"