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Case Studies


We see a number of cases every year, often well-developed because of lack of access to medical care.

We refer them for the insertion of a VP (ventriculoperitoneal) shunt which usually brings good outcomes as in the girl pictured.


Xeroderma Pigmentosum

In this disease the DNA repair mechanism is defective. Sun damage induces skin cancer – mostly melanomas and squamous cell carcinoma.

This 7-year-old presented at our on the first day of a new clinic we opened on 15th October 2108 in a village far from the tarmac road. 

This is a case we had to refer and fortunately we have developed a good relationship with the oncology unit for children in Lilongwe.

The prognosis was not good but chemotherapy with Cisplatin/5FU in an attempt to shrink the carcinoma for possible surgery initially brought some improvement. 


He was allowed to go home to his village before the next stage of treatment but it was all too late and he died a couple of days later.


Burkitt's Lymphona

The endemic version we see (also called the African variant) most commonly occurs in children; Epstein-Barr virus is found in most cases

This girl shown here before and after treatment presented at one of our mobile clinics and we referred her for chemotherapy which was successful.

Our Clinical Officer JP said "We were fortunate because we caught it early where chemotherapy has a high success rate; I am pleased for her for she can now live a normal life and marry when the time is right".



A comatose, febrile child, the most common condition we see, in an average year we will treat over 9,000 cases.

We are fortunate today to have the rapid test kits to confirm diagnosis and the excellent arthemether based medicine to treat confirmed cases.

This is the best example of how having the diagnostic skills and medicines in place saves lives, simply and at low cost.

Serious cases left untreated in children, who have not yet built up any resistance lead to a high mortality rate.

Mosquito nets are the best defense against the female Anopheles which bite mainly at dusk and at night and pass the parasites into the bloodstream.

The symptoms are typically shivering, fever, tiredness, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Trials are taking place with vaccines and we await the outcomes with great interest.


Sepsis, Ulcers and Suspected HIV

This very sick child was brought to our mobile clinic by his guardian, his mother having recently died and the whereabouts of the father were unknown.

The child was very sick and without intervention would have died within a month or so.

We treated the opportunistic infections and took the child onto our Thandizo centre for children living with AIDS programme that is certified as a "Centre of Excellence".

Until there is a cure, living with AIDS  means lifelong care and once on our programme we follow the child closely with monthly clinical review.

The outcomes of our programme are good with a mortality rate of under 1%.

Twelve years on and that same very sick young child whose live we saved is now a very happy young man and the star of the local football team.

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