For those of us that thrives on the shores of community pharmacy practice, the phrase ” I had a mild headache, and I know it is malaria and typhoid” is neither new nor strange.
However, many of these self diagnoses, are neither typhoid nor malaria, but a persistent high blood pressure which has begun to nimble on the life of its victim, with such a gradual and progressive consistency that ensures the victim permanently changes address in the nearest future if nothing is done to check its furtherance.
There is this lady, that comes in on weekly basis to check her Blood pressure for the past one year, with such dedication that I had to ask why she thinks she is hypertensive, despite the weekly result being on the contrary.
She narrated a story of how she had lost a very dear colleague of hers to high Bp. According to her, her friend had a blood pressure which has been treated then, and she had been fine, until she began to suffer consistent headache, which she assumed was typhoid and malaria and was taking malaria and typhoid drugs, the symptom(s) re-occurs at weekly intervals, at a point she had to visit the hospital, she was checked and told that her Bp was not that high and she just needed to tone down on salt,Maggi in take and rest very well. She was of course treated once more for typhoid and malaria. However, within a month the symptoms re-occurred, she decided to take drips and injections. Two days after the treatment, the headache got really bad and she was rushed to the general hospital where the health personnels tried their best possible within the circumstance, but she couldn’t make it, one of the doctors told us that she died because her Bp was unsually high. Therefore, I have decided to check mine on weekly basis, cos I don’t want to die like that.
This story shows mildly, the decdanc of our health system, such manageable illness has claimed the lives of many. Let’s look at it this way.
1. Was she educated by the pharmacist where she constantly buys malaria medicine or were they more interested in her cash
2. Was she educated by the Doctor Who treated her ab initio, that Bp has no cure for now and hence the need for it to to be managed.
3. Did whoever administered that drip bother about her history.
These are fundamental questions that might be of no use to the dead but might be of help to the living. Let us all understand that mild headache might not just be malaria and typhoid, that we don’t treat typhoid and malaria and allow a patient to die of hypertension.
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RIP TO THE DEAD