Friday, January 23, 2015

Old Kruse Medicine Band--Semper Preparadis

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a doctor but I did room with one in college so NOTHING here constitutes sound medical advice.  If you are ever in doubt, do the adult thing and google it Web MD it pour some tequila on it see a doctor.

So you are on lovely vacation in exotic Madagascar and still haven't seen a penguin or lion anywhere.

You've wisely elected to spend your vacation outside of the capital.

You are enjoying the beautiful beaches of Fort Dauphin and faithfully crushing up lines of Malorone like your Scarface administering Malarone to your three small children each day when your two year old wakes up with a 103 degree fever.  You give her some Tylenol and it brings it down but the fever is relentless and keeps yoyo'ing for several days and because you aren't in the capital there's not really any doctors to see and because it's a Sunday afternoon the one pharmacy in town is closed.

Which brings me to my point.  When traveling in Madagascar--always pack your own meds, tests and treatment--at least for the stuff that will keep you up at night--like possible Malaria.

The good news is that you can pick up a test kit at most pharmacies here in Tana and they cost like $3.  I've included a picture of what the individual test looks like as well as the big red box the tests come in.  When I went to one of the pharmacies here--despite my flawless french--it look them a really long time to figure out what I was asking for.  So you can just take a screenshot of these photos and show them to the pharmacists.

WARNING: Malaria can be tricky and just because the tests comes back negative once does not mean you should not continue to monitor for symptoms and possibly take multiple tests.

While you are at the pharmacy, you may as well pick up some ASAQ medication (they dose it by weight in kilos).  If you get malaria this is what most people use to treat it here.  And thanks to the lovely folks at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ASAQ medication costs something like 25 cents here because EVERYONE should have access to malaria treatment medication.

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