When Leganne Matlho’s eldest son fell sick at the age of 10 with a high temperature and “sores all over his body,” his mother did not at first realize how serious the situation could become.
She had heard of measles – children in her town in northern Botswana had died from it in the past. But for a day or two she waited before taking Titoga to a clinic, where doctors prescribed immediate treatment and told her that she had been lucky he had not deteriorated faster.
“I was so frightened that some illness he can catch without me knowing could have caused him to be blind, or even to die, very quickly,” Matlho says, sitting in the shade of her swept yard where tomatoes, kale and lettuce grow in neat lines in the sandy soil. “It was only after that I came to realize that there is a protection against this disease in the form of an injection, something Titoga did not get. Since that day that my son was sick, all of my children have been vaccinated.”