The Black Death?

While in Malakal I had the opportunity to have my arm redressed at a local public facility (and they did a lovely job).  Despite their lovely care of me, I still had to take a step back and have a “really?!” moment, as when I looked through the register, I noticed a new column I’d never seen before:

Yes, yes that's normal.

And in case that’s too far away to read:

Oh, ok then.

Yes. Yes that says “Plague.”

When I asked what “plague” was exactly (and whether or not they meant Bubonic plague), I was informed by the health worker that it was, “like a skin rash.”

My response was, “?”

“Yes, yes, a skin rash.  Which is an STI.”


“So it is an STI.”

“But there is a separate column for STIs.”

“Yes yes.”

“So what is plague for?”

“It is a skin rash. So it is for STI.”

“But most STIs don’t actually manifest any symptoms, including rash.”

“No they have skin rashes.”

“Um no they don’t always, but if they did, then why would there be a separate column for STIs?”


“Perhaps it is not a skin rash? Or an STI?”

“… Yes, perhaps.”

I felt a small amount of victory with that. But now I really want to know what “Plague” refers to.

And just for good measure:

Yes that is the proper use of that tool

That would be a fetoscope being used as a pen holder. Because that is definitely the purpose of a fetoscope. Especially in a country where maternal health is precarious and equipment in health facilities is scarce. Yup.

I was glad my arm had already been redressed.


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