One of the family’s three children had to take her to a doctor for a blood test to determine if she had malaria.
Her daughter was too young to be tested.
The other two were able to feed themselves but couldn’t afford food stamps.
“There’s no way they can afford to send their kids to school,” said the mother.
“They’re all hungry.”
The mom said the family doesn’t have much money, but their son works as a cook for a restaurant and is able to provide for them financially.
“He’s going to school.
They have a home, a car, everything,” the mother said.”
They’re going to be able to survive, and that’s the real important thing.”
A few days later, a different woman arrived at the same hospital and asked to see the mother and her daughter.
She said she was also in need of food stamps because she’s working as a dishwasher for a major company.
“I was in a really bad situation,” she said.
“My house is burned down and I’ve got no money.”
A week later, the mom’s daughter returned to the hospital with a similar story.
“We’ve been trying to get food stamps, but they say they don’t have any food stamps for me,” she told the hospital staff.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Get you tested,” a nurse said.
After two weeks of waiting, the nurse told the mother that her daughter would be able go to a clinic and be tested for malaria.
“Then I’ll know whether or not she’s malaria,” she added.
But the mother’s daughter didn’t receive a test.
Instead, she was told that she’d need to pay $30 a month for the next month to have her malaria tested.
“I can’t do this,” the mom said.
Her daughter had to leave the hospital the following day.
“We’ve seen other people come in for malaria tests, but I’ve never seen someone who’s tested for the disease,” the woman said.
The family’s experience illustrates that even if people can’t get a test, there’s still a risk of malaria, especially for pregnant women.
“It’s not just the person who gets it who’s going down, it’s also their baby, their child, and the whole family,” said Dr. Eric Cressey, a public health physician with the University of Minnesota.
The CDC said there are no data on the prevalence of malaria among pregnant women in the U.S.
The lack of testing can also cause a delay in the recovery process, as many mothers and babies who are not tested wait months or years to see if they’re malaria-free.
A lack of a test for malaria can also delay treatment.
“If you’re going back into the community, you can’t go back and treat the person you’re treating,” Dr. Cressell said.
In some cases, it can be a death sentence.
“The person who has malaria can die from it,” Dr Cresse said.
A family in Mexico whose three children were tested but didn’t get tested, and a man in California who didn’t test either had to wait until his youngest daughter was three to see her father.
The mother was told by a doctor that his daughter had malaria and that she could go to the nearest hospital for testing.
“She’s going into labor and I don’t know how I’m going to get her to the doctors,” she recalled.
“This is going to kill me.”
Dr. Crespo added that in some places, pregnant women can still get tested.
“In places where you can do that, it does seem that there’s a chance,” he said.
But not everyone is lucky enough to have a child test positive for malaria, or to have them tested after their pregnancy.
“You have people who are already sick,” Dr Waddell said.
When a pregnant woman in the Philippines has a child with malaria, the family has to be in the country for five weeks to see their doctor.
But when the child’s mother tests positive for the malaria-related disease, the child will have to wait up to two weeks for the tests to come back.