By Morris Aron
At first, they took it as another bout of malaria.
Sweating, general malaise, headache and occasional vomiting matched the disease.
Deriving from the experiences in previous such excursions, a few tablets could have treated the case and brought him back to normal health.
They were mistaken.
In a matter of hours, the health of Elipokea Akyoo – the Tanzanian driver of the tourist convoy – deteriorated. Like they were to later find out, Mr Akyoo was suffering from meningitis.
Stuck in the middle of the bushes somewhere between Swankamond and Bloomfontein in Zambia, and with a truckload of tourists and no known hospital around, something had to be done and had to be done quickly.
And that is when the nightmare of what to do started.
By the time the convoy reached the Delta region of Botswana, Akyoo’s situation had gotten worse. He was now convulsing and in urgent need of proper hospitalisation and treatment.
Without medical attention in a matter of hours, the driver was going to die. The Peak East Africa – a destination management company – caravan headed to Zambia and Botswana with a truckload of tourists interested in seeing the East and Southern Africa nations had to abruptly be stopped.
Arrangements had to be made to get Akyoo to the nearest health centre then to a hospital.