It was early hours of the morning when Mr. Jeklin knocked on my door profusely. I was afraid, thinking our compound had been invaded by men of the underworld. ‘It is me, akowe, (the nickname I am fondly called in the compound), It is Mr. Jeklin, Philomena is very sick. I looked at the time and it was 3.00AM and I opened the door immediately.
Mr. Jeklin was in wrapper and he was panting like a deer. As he saw me, he began to walk towards their room and was saying to me as I followed him, ‘Philomena is running high temperature, coughing, breathing rapidly and yet has difficulty in breathing.’ At this time, we were already in their room. I looked at the child and suspected that it could be pneumonia, which is inflammation of the lungs.
I asked Mrs. Jeklin, when did you begin to notice this health development? She responded that it was late in the evening the previous day. At this time it was 3.15AM. I implored them not to panic. I went back to my room to bring my First Aid Box. By the time I returned the situation had normalized a bit and Philomena was trying to catch some sleep. I told the parents to keep an eye on her. I told them that they should get ready for us to visit the Health Centre in the area early in the morning.
Early in the morning, we took her to the Health Centre and she was attended to by the Health Worker, who told us that early detection is very crucial and that we have done the right thing by bringing her early for treatment. She was later given some antibiotics.
The parents returned home while I proceeded to the office. I got to the office one hour late, though I had earlier called my boss that I was running late. Thank God for an understanding boss.
When I returned in the evening, I checked on Mr and Mrs Jeklin to see how Philomena was doing. I was glad to see that she was recuperating fast. Before I left, I told Mrs. Jeklin that for the purpose of another time, she should have done something when she noticed Philomena’s heath development in the evening. I told her she should not have gone to bed hoping all will be well. I explained to her that but for the fact that God took control, the matter could have gone out of hands. I further educated her that symptoms of any kind of ailment in children must not be ignored and that pain is always a pointer to the fact that something is wrong and it should be addressed immediately. ‘When it comes to health issue, delay may be dangerous and in most cases may cause irreparable damage,’ I said to Mrs. Jeklin. I was glad that the husband also listened attentively and nodded at rapid intervals in approval.
Done with my child protection sermon, I requested to take my leave. Both of them were very happy and thanked me profoundly.
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