Peace Corps Burkina Faso
Friends of African Village Libraries
September 2011/Revised July 2013
Krystle Austin, Beguédo: 2009-2011; Ouaga 2011-2012
Sabrina Barker, Dalo: 2009-2011
Issaka is Sick
Lesson #2 : Story about Diarrhea
Awa is pounding millet at home. She is waiting for her friend,
Aminata, who is coming over soon. Her son, Issaka, is sitting
next to her, and he is crying.
Making Oral Rehydration Salts at Home
1 liter of clean water
1/2 tablespoon of salt
8 cubes (2 tablespoon) of sugar
Citrus to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a large cup.
Drink as needed, and especially after each bowel move-
N.B. You can also buy Oral Rehydration Salts at the health
Difficult Words and Expressions
Diarrhea: when one has a stomach ache and watery stools
several times a day
Health clinic: where sick people are taken care of
Doctor, nurse: someone who takes care of sick people
Local: ingredients that can be found here
NB: All the above words and expressions are in italics in the
1. Issaka is sick. What illness does he have?
2. How does Awa want to care for him? Does Aminata agree
3. Where did Awa learn her information? Who was her tea-
4. What are the foods that are good for a child with diarr-
5. What are Oral Rehydration Salts?
6. How do you make Oral Rehydration Salts?
7. Does Aminata give her friend good advice? Why or why
Aminata arrives, and the friends greet each other. Aminata sees
that Issaka is crying.
Aminata: Issaka, what’s wrong?
Awa: He has had diarrhea since the day before yesterday. I am
making him foufou to help him feel better.
Aminata: Awa, there is a better way to care for your son. I went to an
information session at the health clinic last year. The nurse taught us
how to care for a child who has diarrhea.
Two days later, Aminata comes by the house again. She sees that Issaka
is in good health, and he is laughing and dancing. Aminata asks about
Aminata: He is cured! I am never giving foufou to my child again when
he has diarrhea. Thank you for your advice!
Awa and Issaka arrive at their house. Awa prepares white rice and feeds
it to her child. He drinks Oral Rehydration Salts. Little by little, his
health gets better.
First, the nurse said that the child should eat food that will calm his
stomach. He can eat white rice, bananas and bread. There are also local
foods, such as kenkey that is made with tamarind or citrus juice wi-
thout sauce, porridge with salt and sugar or rice water. Most importan-
tly, it is necessary to avoid too much oil in the meal.
The child has also lost a lot of liquids, and drinking water is not suffi-
cient. It is necessary to drink Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). You can
buy them at the health clinic or you can make them yourself. To make
the drink, you start with a liter of clean water. You add half a spoonful
of salt and 8 cubes of sugar. If you want, you can add come citrus juice
to make it taste better. The sick child drinks this often, especially after
each time he goes to the bathroom.
Awa: I am going to the market right now to buy the necessary things
to care for my son!
Awa, Aminata and Issaka go to the market. Awa and Aminata see so-
me friends and chat with them a little. Awa buys the ingredients she
needs to care for her son.