Today I went to the clinic next door to my school to have my first medical checkup or "physical," as they call it in North America. Traditionally in Malawi, you only go to the doctor if you are very sick. I learned about blood pressure, diastolic and systolic measurements, pulse or heart rate, and a new word, prophylaxis or prevention. I am healthy and my readings are all normal. The doctor is very kind and explains everything new. I am to take anti-Malarial prophylaxis during the rainy season.

My mentor and I ask the doctor for anti-parasite pills for my whole family. Everyone who lives in rural Malawi is at risk, and it’s best if they take the pills once a year to make sure no one has an infection.

After the checkup, I realize it’s much easier to prevent than cure illness. I am lucky to be able to go for preventative care.

Tomorrow: My first dentist appointment!