with No Comments

Blog from MBP Volunteer, Sara

Health Care in Madagascar…

What a difference it is to be ill in a third world country. Yes, there are doctors here and yes, there is medicine that you can purchase. But it’s completely different then the healthcare you would receive in a first world country. First of all, the doctors are not always at the hospital. So if you are sick and the doctor is not in, that’s just too bad for you. If you are ill and you need to spend the night at the hospital, that’s fine.  They will give you a bed and treat you. But apparently all the doctors and nurses leave at five o’clock. It’s the end of the workday for them, so they go home. Hopefully, you have family nearby that will come in and spend the night with you in case you need help. If something should happen to you during the night, well, they will find you in the morning… What a different system they have here compared to back in Canada, where there is free healthcare twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week…

With all of that being said, the doctors in Madagascar seem competent. The two times that I have gone to the hospital due to severe infections in my legs or hands, I was prescribed some medication that had me back to normal in a week’s time. They are also very pro-active in testing for Malaria, since it is such a common illness in Madagascar. Out of all the people at the MBP who have had Malaria in the past five months (since I’ve been here), all of them were feeling better and back to work within four days thanks to the medicine prescribed to them by the doctors in Kianjavato.

It’s amazing how people can survive life here. While working in the forest following lemurs, you get small cuts and scrapes, that’s just part of the job. Back in Canada, a small cut would be completely healed within three days time. Here in Madagascar, due to the humidity and the fact that it’s almost impossible to keep any cut clean, every little cut I get, gets infected and I have to spend several days treating it before I am healed. I am so impressed by the fact that the locals can live in this environment and still be healthy for the most part. My Vasa (white person) skin is too weak here and my Malagasy
guides find it amusing to tease me about it all the time. It’s all in good fun and it’s true that I am weak here in Madagascar. I just tease them right back. I say that I might be weak here but if they were to come to Canada, I bet they would be weak there. At least they would not be able to survive our cold winters!

So goes life in a third world country…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.