The Hospital in our Home

Did anyone else grow up with this book? Have you ever seen this before?



I grew up with this book and a basket of drugs (our little drugs dispensary) in the dinning room. This was the book mum would consult when we started showing sick symptoms. I vividly remember an incident when I was stooling and traces of blood could be seen in my stool. After consulting our book doctor, she found the term for it and then we went to her office clinic. She just walked confidently into the doctor’s office and said her daughter was experiencing “hematochezia”. Hmmmm, this got the doctor upset. He just flared up and started questioning her, how did you know that? He was literally shouting and my little self wondered what mama had done wrong. Apparently, according to him, she was challenging his medical expertise. He said she wasn’t a doctor and had no right to conclude what was wrong with her daughter. Unfortunately, the man is dead now.

Well, this is sort of the norm with Nigerians, probably why he flared up. The hospital is usually the last resort when you have used all the drugs in your family drug dispensary. Once you have headache and fever, then you have malaria. Once you are having consistent stomach upset in addition to the headache and fever, then it is typhoid fever. Oh the number of malaria pills I have swallowed in my life…

I know we cannot deny the fact that we are very prone to malaria with the host of mosquitoes around us but that doesn’t translate every sick feeling to malaria. Sometimes it could be a break down from overworking ourselves, a viral infection etc. but we still treat malaria nonetheless. Anyway, first things first for me now is to get some extended rest once I start sensing any ill feeling, drink a lot of water and of course hand it over to God. Then if I still don’t feel better after a day or two, then I go to the clinic or hospital.

However, for children one has to be extra careful. You must never “take medicine into your hands” (my equivalent for taking laws into our hands)… I encourage us to discourage self-medication, lol… You can’t determine what is wrong with your child, you are not a doctor. You can only give first-aid but not full treatment.

Have a beautiful weekend!!!

2 thoughts on “The Hospital in our Home

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  1. I think the problem is that going to the hospital in Nigeria is expensive. People self-medicate so as not to have to pay hospital bills. However, this can be a problem when the self-medication causes further negative effects. Telling a doctor that I have so so and so challenges the doctor’s education. A doctor spends 4-5 years training to be a doctor so I would like to believe the doctor knows what he’s doing. Although, I know doctors make mistakes but we have to hope that they do the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you on those. The affordable-average hospitals that are skilled in their treatments charge as much as #5000 for consultation with an additional charge of about #5000 for the medication of common illnesses like cold and malaria. So one would be spending at least #10,000 in the hospital when the same drugs cost about #2500 or less from the pharmacy. The hospital bills, of cause, goes up if the patient needs to be admitted, run tests or scans etc. Or if he/she is being treated for a more severe illness.
      These discourage the average Nigerian who probably falls ill occasionally from all the germs and viruses around. Sadly, now everyone is their own doctor, endangering lives.


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