Malaria Diagnosis by Google Translate

5 Dec

Late last year and the beginning of this year i travelled to couple of Francophone Countries, prior the trip i bought couple of French material to ease me into the language. I knew nothing about French except saying “Bonjour and Jetaime” this should be popular phrases in French since i cannot even remember how i got to know them. Honesty speaking I was not perturbed by my lack of French when i planned my trip I just knew that somehow I will find the way, and finding the way i did.

When I first got to Burkina Faso, i was with fellow traveller who could say few things in the language and there was no need for me to use my phrase book and French translation podcast, the trouble started when she left the day after our arrival. I was now faced with having to speak the language since many people in Burkina Faso did not speak the English.

The second day after arriving in Burkina Faso I was not feeling 100% ok, i had bit of diarrhoea and sweating at night, I suspected that i may have contracted malaria since this where know symptoms of Malaria. Its at this point that i realised i am in trouble with French, i asked the recpetionist at the hostel I was staying in where is the clinic since he could speak little English he gave me some directions, which i faintly understood. I decided to walk to the clinic and ask people closer to where i think the clinic was to give me directions. I had my phrase book in my back pocket for what i hoped will be assistance,  that never sufficed, couple of people i asked could not understand me and i could not understand them, my big problem also was that i was incorrectly saying the the name of the clinic and that caused me to go around the bloc about 2 times without finding the place.

When i wanted to ask as question i would take my phrase book and try to translate using English animated pronunciation that did not help either, i tried saying Malaria hoping people will send me to the clinic that did not help also, its only when i decided to call the hostel and asked the receptionist that i realised i was saying the name of the clinic wrong, once i got it right,  people where able to direct me to the right place.  I got to the clinic  stood on the que, until it was my time to see the doctor, language barrier started again, the doctor could not say anything in English, he only heard when I sad malaria and i could not understand what he said in return. Its only when i realised that he was on the internet that i indicated that we should probably use google translate to discuss. I typed what was ailing me in English and translated that in French, he will ask me a question in French and translates that into English. We did that till he told me to go to the lab to get my blood tested.

Laboratory people had no problem with english so we managed to get all tests done, and they told me to come back after 5 hours for results, back to the clinic again it with google translate that i was told i have Malaria, the doctor was smiling when he told me that, at least i knew it was not serious. He gave me subscriptions which i got from the chemist in town, without a problem. My only problem was that I had to stop drinking alcohol for 7 days while on medication. That meant spending my new years eve without touching alcohol.



4 Responses to “Malaria Diagnosis by Google Translate”

  1. Rudolfs Freimanis (@Freimaniss) January 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Hi! I am going the same route after 1 month, Accra-Ouagadougou by bus. I am just interesting- did you use some anti-malaria pills while you were there, before you got malaria? And did you use anti-mosqito sprays? I just cant decide-should or shouldnt I use those pills, as they are quite expensive.

    • mokhathi January 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      Hi Rudolfs

      I had pills i was using, but i did not use the anti malaria cream regularly and that’s how i got malaria, if you can avoid being beaten you are safe. I dont use pills for my travels anymore i just use cream and wear long sleeve clothes.

      Safe travels

      • Rudolfs Freimanis (@Freimaniss) January 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

        Thanks for respond!
        I think I will try to avoid taking pills, I hope a lot of anti mosqito cream and spray will do enough to protect!
        As you did the same route with the bus I am going to do, can you tell me- was there only one bus company on Accra-Ouagadougou route ore there are many? Maybe you would sugest me to do this route some other way or by some other company?
        Maybe some other important tips you could give?
        Thanks a lot!

      • mokhathi January 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

        If I remember well there was no other company than the one I took. The road is straight forward not much to advise. It’s a night drive and you stop at couple of markets, which don’t sell appetizing stuff get your good and drinks.

        Safe travels

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