Water and Me Part III

 

Having any type of illness in a foreign land can be an ordeal. Doctors in their white coats are miracle workers. Sometimes the littlest illness can dampen your spirits and you feel at ease when you’re cured. In 2007 I had taken a semester off and gone to India to attend a few weddings. During the time in between weddings I decided to visit Mumbai. I took a 13 hour-long night train from Delhi to Mumbai. A plane ride to Mumbai from Delhi is a few hours and a cost about the same and is only a few hours long. I spent about a day enjoying the sights and sounds of Mumbai until the next day when I started violently throwing up. I ate something contaminated was my first thought. By the end of the day I was sweating profusely and had a fever. This fever would last the 2 weeks. During that illness I ended up going to 5 different doctors all as equally qualified as the other. They couldn’t diagnose me. I would later find out from my family doctor in Vancouver that I had contracted malaria and that none of the tests that were done were the correct test to determine that.

 

Malaria is a disease that is found in the sub tropical areas. It usually happens in hot and humid climates where mosquitoes will breed the disease in standing water. Malaria awareness campaigns are rampant during the summer months during the monsoon. In Canada we will have warnings given about the West Nile virus, also contracted through Mosquitoes. During the same visit there were PSA’s sponsored by Non Government Organizations as well as Government Institutions. These PSA’s were targeted towards rural populations on how to avoid the spreading of Mosquito borne illnesses. They were also directed to the proper authorities on procuring supplies, free of charge, as well as instructions and specific identifiers of such breeding grounds.  The effectiveness of the campaigns is hard to determine in a country with over a Billion. The future though isn’t that bleak with recent developments in Malaria Vaccines.