'Mother, baby, me and AMR', a poem by Aakrit Dahal, Medical Officer
at the door of OPD,
Smiling face; runny nose, Mild fever
and frightened like seeing a deer
I said “Come in Dear”
Mother said ‘He has a fever.’
I replied, ‘‘I am here to care.’’
In a trembling voice,
she said he wasn't feeling nice.
“Don't worry don't worry.
Let's see if there is anything to worry.”
Measuring the fever;
it's 101 dear.
The mother wanted a pill,
That could instantly heal.
“How could a mother see one's child suffer?
Doctor, please don't bluffer.
I am in a hurry.
Give me a pill to relieve my worry.”
I demanded a blood test,
WBC; CRP; Blood culture.
‘Doctor!’ she yelled loudly “Are u a vulture?”
“Why?’’ I asked,
Feeling low but with a smile
“‘The test is going to take a while
and I don't have the time or the money for test
But I want medicine which is best.”
“Ma’am”; I said,
Frowning face, she made,
“ I am not a magician to give a pill to heal.”
She said, “I need a pill right now for the bug to get killed.”
“Ma’am…” I explained and asked for consent.
“Doctor, don't you think you are acting ancient??”
She shouted at me in a loud voice.
I tried helping her but I had no choice.
She stood…banged the table,
grabbed her child and went with a frown.
But that was the only way,
I sat there like a clown.
As I heard, she visited a pharmacy just nearby.
Spent hundreds of rupees thereby.
Her child got better ... Happy she was. So was I.
Similar fevers came a few more times.
She repeated the same act just as in rhymes.
Few years passed by,
She got into the habit of taking antibiotics from nearby.
Now, again, her kid had fever.
But this time the magical pill didn't healed
The fever was so high, he was nearly killed.
She came to me in tears.
I told her again,” We are here to care.”
This time, she herself wanted the blood test.
But the baby was too sick and wanted to rest.
We admitted him in a children’s ward.
We could see the report on his chart.
Strong IV antibiotics were what he was given
Blood infection was what he got;
chances not to be taken
Small hand with a large canula.
Blood culture showed Salmonella.
Looking at the report made us shocked.
The ordinary and potent antibiotics couldn't work.
Costly antibiotics made the boy weak.
She apologized for acting like a freak.
His smile was slowly growing,
His blood infection was slightly lowering.
Now, after months of stay and cycle of Amikacin,
He was discharged with tons of medicine.
She asked,” Why did my child suffer more?”
The pharmacy didn't treat the core.
“Your child was prescribed antibiotics for viral infections.
For which antipyretic could have easily done.”
Now the mother asked “Was it AMR?”
It is an example of where we are.
You are just a prototype.
Antibiotics use are in the hype
How do I avoid this hype?
Blood test is what we ask;
Simple test to ease our task.
Prescribe antibiotics only when it's needed.
We want the infection to be quickly treated.
But before the results are there,
There’s something empirical.
Sometimes this can act as a miracle.
When in doubt, always visit us.
Blood test without a rush.
AMR should be taken care of with a correct choice.
It's another way to make us healthy wealthy and wise!!!
Photograph of Aakrit Dahal