One-year old Alexandria Katontoka from Fitebo in the Serenje District of Zambia fell sick on 13 December 2017 at around 10 in the morning.
He stopped playing with his friend and fell asleep near the doorway of his house. While picking up her, seemingly, sleepy son, Sharon Musonda realised his body temperature was very high. Worried she immediately set off to see the Community Health Volunteer, Charity Mumba. With a rapid diagnostic test confirming Alexandria had malaria he was given an antimalarial (artmether-lumefantrine) and paracetamol and taken home.
At around 3pm Alexandria’s big brother came running to Charity’s home in tears. He said that Alexandria had died, and he had been sent to call her. Charity ran into her house to pick up her test kits and Rectal Artesunate Suppository (RAS). When she arrived, Alexandria was lying on a blanket on the floor with his eyes closed. Mum, Sharon explained that he had started vomiting severely and had been fitting.
Charity immediately administered RAS and advised for preparations to be made to go to hospital. Just 5 minutes later, Alexandria opened his eyes and started to cry. Charity’s husband then called for a bicycle ambulance, which transferred Sharon and Alexandria to the local health facility, a journey that took over two hours.
On arrival at the facility, Alexandria was given three courses of Injectable Artesunate and the following day could be discharged and taken home. Although it took almost a week for him to walk properly, he has now fully recovered and RAS has given Alexandria a second chance at life.