DOCTOR’S VISIT

By
Arnold Mwanjila
PO BOX 59875-00200
Nairobi, KENYA
+254700582719
arnoldmwanjila@gmail.com
FADE IN
1 INT. LIVING ROOM--LATE AFTERNOON 1
A SMALL home. Crowded. Not big enough to hold everything
owned by the family that lives here.
DUSKY: FRAYING, FADED CURTAINS are drawn across windows.
LUKA, 5, sleeps fitfully on the sofa, bundled in OLD
BLANKETS, shivering and sweating.
He is surrounded by his concerned family: BABA, 40; MAMA,
35; ELIZA, 8, and TOTO, 3.
All are in SECOND-HAND CLOTHES--FADED and FRAYING--but still
NEAT and CLEAN. Making do with what they can afford.
Mama has a SLIGHT MOUND about her midsection suggesting
another child on the way.
She touches Luka’s forehead, frowns.
MAMA
What time did he say he’ll get
here?
Baba reaches into his pockets and pulls out an OLD PHONE.
BABA
He should be here by now.
Luka shifts audibly, pain flashes across his face.
Mama shushes him with a gentle touch on his cheek.
A LOUD KNOCK sounds.
BABA (cont’d)
That must be him.
He goes to the door and opens it.
DAKTARI SOLOMON, 30, stands in the doorway, neat and clean,
and in a WHITE LAB COAT.
BABA (cont’d)
Thank God. We have been waiting.
He ushers the doctor in.
MAMA ELIZA stands up.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: (2) 2.
MAMA
Hello Daktari.
DAKTARI S.
Hello Mama Eliza. I’m sorry I’m
late. Hello Toto!
Toto rushes behind Mama.
ELIZA
He’s still afraid of needles.
DAKTARI S.
(smiling)
I don’t always carry needles.
ELIZA
He doesn’t know that.
Daktari S approaches Luka. Mama gives him space.
DAKTARI S.
What’s wrong with Luka?
BABA
We don’t know. He complained of a
headache in the morning.
MAMA
But we didn’t thing anything of it
BABA
Then the school called. And Mama
had to leave the stall and get him.
Daktari S. bends over Luka, puts his hand on the forehead.
Luka opens his eyes. They are unfocused.
MAMA
He has a fever.
DAKTARI S.
Hello Luka. Can you hear me?
Luka’s eyes focus on the doctor then he nods.
DAKTARI S. (cont’d)
How are you feeling?
Luka pulls the blanket tighter over himself.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: (3) 3.
DAKTARI S. (cont’d)
Cold?
Luka nods.
MAMA
We think it might be malaria.
The doctor looks at the parents then turns back to Luka. He
takes out his stethoscope, unwinds it.
DAKTARI S.
Do you have any pains in your
joints and your muscles.
Luka nods then puts a hand on his shoulder muscles,
squeezes.
LUKA
(thirsty whisper)
I feel tired everywhere.
DAKTARI S.
I see.
Daktari S. places the stethoscope on Luka’s chest and
listens for a few seconds, then he takes the ear pieces out
of his ears.
MAMA
Well?
Daktari S. stands up.
BABA
What can you tell us, Daktari?
DAKTARI S.
It is tough to say. The challenge
with malaria is that it presents
symptoms like Influenza. The high
fever and the shivering, the aching
joints and muscles, headaches,
these are all symptomps that both
have. His chest is clear, but that
could just be for the time being.
BABA
So this could just be a flu.
Because we use nets over all our
beds.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: (4) 4.
DAKTARI S.
The female anopheles mosquito is
the one that spreads malaria as it
bites you to drink your blood, and
yes, it feeds mostly at night, but
that doesn’t mean it can’t bite you
during the day when you are outside
your net.
MAMA
True.
DAKTARI S.
And I noticed a large pool of water
outside when I came in.
BABA
Yes, it’s a ditch that was dug to
help drain rain water.
DAKTARI S.
But it hasn’t rained for weeks.
MAMA
It has bad drainage. The government
should have come and fixed it.
DAKTARI S.
You can’t wait for the government
to come fix all your problems.
These mosquitoes lay eggs in there.
Very many at a time. These eggs
hatch then grow into more
mosquitoes which spread more
malaria and puts you and your young
family at even greater risk.
Especially you.
(He points at Mama’s Belly)
Pregnant women are like children
when it comes to malaria. Whatever
immunity you might have had reduces
at that time and if you get
infected you could lose your baby.
Mama touches her belly in alarm.
Baba wraps his arms around his wife.
BABA
What should we do?
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: (5) 5.
DAKTARI S.
Cut down that bush behind your
house and drain that ditch. And
your nets, when was the last time
they were treated with insecticide.
MAMA
I think, I think when we bought
them.
DAKTARI S.
When was that?
BABA
About two years ago?
Daktari S shakes his head.
DAKTARI S.
You should get those nets treated
every six months to increase the
efficacy of the insecticide.
Luka shifts.
They all turn and look at him.
DAKTARI S.
As for him, we can’t be sure
without a blood test. Take him to
the clinic as soon as possible.
BABA
Now?
DAKTARI S.
Now would be great. I’m actually
heading there, if you want a ride.
BABA
Yes, yes. We’ll come with you.
He bends down to help Luka up.
BABA
Luka, get up. We’re going to the
clinic.
The doctor goes to the door, opens it for father and son.
Mama escorts them to the door, fussing over Luka.
Father and son leave.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: (6) 6.
MAMA
Thank you very much, Daktari.
DAKTARI S.
You’re welcome, Mama Eliza.
(to the kids)
Eliza, Toto, I’ll see you later.
ELIZA
Bye.
The doctor leaves. Mama closes the door.
ELIZA (cont’d)
Luka is going to be fine, yes Mama?
MAMA
He is going to be fine. They’ll
take him to the clinic and do a
blood test to see if he has malaria
or not.
ELIZA
And if he has malaria?
MAMA
They will give him medicine to cure
him.
Eliza nods.
BEAT.
ELIZA
When I grow up, I’m going to be a
doctor.
MAMA
You’ll have to work very hard.
ELIZA
I can work hard.
MAMA
Yes you can.
The two smile at each other then Eliza turns and starts
folding up Luka’s blankets.
Mama joins her.
FADE OUT.