Testimony of a family affected by COVID19: "We treat ourselves effectively at home"

Hervé Barinjaka Milius and his family have been infected with COVID19 since a few days. They are treating themselves at home, and the treatment is going quite well.

Fanja Saholiarisoa
Hervé Barinjaka Milius et sa famille sont atteints du COVID19
UNICEF Madagascar/2020
08 August 2020

The coronavirus pandemic ended up affecting Madagascar, right in the heart of the country’s capital Antananarivo, where Hervé Barinjaka Milius lives with his wife Hanitra Andriantsoa and their three children: Fenohery 11 years old, Princya 7 years old and Ayden 9 months old. Hervé was teleworking at home, but his wife Hanitra, who works in the transportation of hydrocarbons, went to the office driving the family car.

This family, like many others, has been on total lockdown since the past few days. The family members are undergoing treatment at their homes after contracting the virus. “We don't know exactly when or how we got the virus, or even who was infected first, but I was the first to have symptoms. When I lost my sense of smell, which is one of the tell-tale signs of COVID-19, I panicked a bit but gathered my family to share the news. The next day, my wife and I asked to get tested and the positive test results were issued one week later. “The most difficult moment was the announcement of the positive results,” says Hervé.

In the meantime, the family is making progress towards the acceptance of the disease. In the hope of recovering from the pandemic, they follow home treatments to the letter, not forgetting their grandmother’s ritual to boost their immune systems.

“Our habit has changed since then. We drink more hot drinks made from lemon, ginger and honey, as well as soups,” continues Hervé, who receives groceries left by his sister-in-law at the gate of his house.

The children are doing quite well and playing like the other uninfected children who are currently on lockdown. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of children do not develop any symptom and are not affected.

For us, COVID19 was a difficult situation that we want to share with everyone. "I decided to testify because my compatriots feel confused. But in my opinion, each family can cope with this pandemic calmly with the means at hand and with the available services", underlines Hervé, who adds that to strengthen a feeling of cohesion among the population, we must stop stigmatizing sick people, but instead we need to share more of the real messages and tips.

Hervé Barinjaka has a message for the people who are not infected with the virus: “Protect yourself 100% and apply barrier gestures. Bear in mind that infected persons are necessarily circulating, given the harsh social reality in Madagascar. At the same time, take care of your diet to strengthen your immune systems, and stay united."

And for those who are sick, he shares a message of hope to them. “Don't panic. This pandemic is a reality and must be addressed through concrete and effective actions and not with a masquerade. Take care of yourself and your family with existing medicines bought in a pharmacy along with natural remedies, and then pray because most people will find a way out of it ... ", concludes Hervé Barinjaka positively.

In Madagascar, even in times of crisis, most children are more generally victims of common diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, measles and lung disease. It is important to note that despite COVID19, we should not refrain from using health services, because the real risk is at this level.