I would like to start a thread of sailors' stories of health
issues they have had to address while at sea, or in ports
other than at home.
I just begun recounting my own malaria, which I don't know where I contracted it, but which the symptoms showed up in Eritrea. The story is coming in six parts
, at Sailing Faith: The Long Way Home
beginning today, but here's a condensed version.
Sailing into Massawa, Eritrea, from Aden, Yemen, I was overcome with fever. Over 40 degrees in most parts
, but over 104 degrees in our superior American system of weights and measures.
After two days, I was looked at by a doctor aboard a cruise ship
that docked there, who suggested I get to a hospital. The first test results came back negative, but when I did make it the the UN Hospital in Asmarra, Eritrea's capital, their tests showed positive. The UN doctors were good, the hospital was run by the Jordanian Military. Eritrea didn't have a very good drug inventory, so after three days, they told my wife I should evacuate to Cairo, where life-support equipment
was available, if I needed it.
It was in Cairo that I was treated with good drugs, and after three days they let me out of the hospital, weakened substantially, to work
on getting a visa to reenter Eritrea. It took a week for the visa, but I was able to join my family
again for our journey up the Red Sea.
By the way, the UN charged US$125 per day, including everything, x rays, drugs, food
, etc. The hospital in Cairo was for profit, and since I wasn't Egyptian, I had to pay full price
. The bill for three days, x-rays, drugs, blood work
, ultrasound, and everything else came to US$475, and they