I've shared before one of my favourite quotes ...
'If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in bed with a mosquito'
It has a whole different connotation when you're moving your family, little people included, across the world to a country where malaria is a common occurrence.
When I lived in Tanzania before, I survived my first year unscathed. The second year was different though ... I managed to get malaria, not once, not twice but three times. Seriously!
When a healthy, well nourished person get's malaria it can just be like a bad case of the flu, that is treatable. On the flip side, it can be a deadly disease for those who have limited resources or access to medical attention. Thankfully we should be blessed with former situation during our time in Dodoma, but it won't guarantee total immunity, just a stronger body to deal with it!
Obviously we're going to be careful, not going out in the prime mosquito time of the day, using bug spray and to begin with, taking anti-malarial medication. Talking to the other families when we visited, it seems that most people don't take them the whole time though ... after all, who wants to pump themselves and their little munchkins with drugs, year after year?
We used this recent trip to test out how we all (but the girls especially) reacted to one particular type of anti-malarial before committing to taking it for a longer period of time, when we move to Tanzania in 2013. Thankfully it seemed to be a total success with none of the possible side effects like instant vomiting, diarrhoea, hallucinations and other stuff ... much to our relief!
Getting the girls to take the medicine was a whole other experience though. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT follow the instructions that say dissolve in water and give it to your children as a drink. I am here to personally testify that it does not work like that!! The first time, we had one agonising afternoon where we were force-feeding this disgusting solution to two very uncooperative little girls but had to make sure they were taking it! We really hadn't thought it through at all.
Fast forward one week ... and we were two very much more prepared parents! Crush it, mix it into just one spoonful of yoghurt and serve in the first mouthful without mentioning anything about anything. Absolutely no problem. Every week since has been exactly the same. BIG sigh of relief because believe me, we weren't going to repeat that first experience again each week!!
Hopefully we'll avoid the mosquito's and malaria as much as possible ... and thankfully, the process hasn't altered the girls love of yoghurt either.