Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ)

PSJ's mission is to promote community health, as well as support underserved rural communities to realize their highest attainable standard of health. This mission is borne out of our strong conviction that physicians have a crucial role to play toward the realization of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), especially in regard to those goals related to health.
May 14, 2014

Malaria Prevention Outreach; Field update from rural Faje

Faje, one of the first remote villages to benefit from ‘Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in rural Mashegu’ hosted our mobile clinic and malaria prevention outreach team in February and March 2014.

As part of the outreach activities, malaria prevention education was provided to nursing mothers and pregnant women with the aim of boosting malaria prevention health behaviours among this group. The group health education on environmental sanitation provided a unique opportunity for the malaria team to educate families about malaria prevention. In particular, elimination of mosquito breeding sites was emphasized as we approach the onset of rainy season from May to October when malaria transmission and mortality is highest. Our malaria team continued to emphasize and educate families especially mothers on how to recognize early symptoms and signs of malaria and on the need for sick children to receive prompt medical attention. This is particularly important because most of the deaths due to malaria among infants is due to delays in instituting treatment for such children.

Children under-5 and pregnant women are the most vulnerable groups to malaria attacks and deaths in this region. National statistics shows that more than 50percent of pregnant women from rural villages such as Faje will experience at least one episode of malaria during pregnancy. And this often contributes to severe anaemia (shortage of blood in the body) in the pregnant mother, resulting in increased risk of maternal and child deaths, and low birth weight.

The malaria team provided every pregnant woman in the village with intermittent preventive treatment, and sensitized them on the absolute need to seek early treatment from health workers at the earliest suspicion of malaria (whenever they develop fever or generalized body weakness or feel generally unwell as these are often the first symptoms of malaria). All pregnant mothers and children had the opportunity to get tested; thanks to the Rapid Malaria Diagnostic Test Kit that is now available at no cost. Eighty seven children and pregnant mothers were diagnosed and received malaria treatment using the Artesunate-Combination Therapy (ACT) as recommended by the Ministry of Health (FMOH) and the WHO.

Our outreach to remote villages such as Faje would not have been possible without the support of our donors whose financial donations made it possible for us to procure medical supplies such as the malaria medicines and pay for transport costs to visit these communities. Your donations have made such a huge difference in the lives of dozens of these poor rural mothers and children. Donations like yours have added up to save the lives of dozens of children, pregnant mothers and their babies in these communities we serve. We are very grateful to you our donors who support the work we do. Your relentless support to our work has been our biggest strength. On behalf of the communities we serve, we say thank you for making it possible for us to reach remote communities like Faje on continuous basis.

Jan 28, 2014

Update from malaria outreach to rural Sahon-rami

malaria outreach sahonrami
malaria outreach sahonrami

In December 2013, Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths conducted a malaria prevention outreach in Sahon-rami, the village that could be considered as the birth place of the project in 2007. The setting was the community primary school, where the malaria team set up mobile clinic tents to receive and treat sick women and children who had earlier been told about the visit by the mobile clinic team.

At the end of the outreach, 198 children were treated for malaria using the standard artesunnate combination therapy (ACT). Also 82 nursing and pregnant mothers received targeted malaria prevention education, prophylaxis, treatment. Nursing mothers were also educated on how to recognize early symptoms and signs of malaria and on the need for sick children to receive prompt medical attention. This is particularly important because most of the deaths due to malaria among infants is due to delays in commencing treatment for such children. Thousands of young children who suffer acute attacks of malaria frequently develop complications such as anaemia and convulsions, because they do not receive prompt treatment, and such complications are usually the cause of their death.

We are very grateful to all our donors who support the work we do. We thank you very much for donating over and over again to this project. We are very grateful to you. Thank you for supporting the work we do. Your continued support to our work has been our biggest strength. On behalf of the communities we serve, we say thank you for all your support.

Oct 17, 2013

You made it possible for us to bring succour to vulnerable children in Tunga-magajia village

A mother & her child waiting for malaria treatment
A mother & her child waiting for malaria treatment

PSJ's mobile clinic team visited Tunga-magajia village, a remote rural settlement in Mashegu district. We had received an SOS from the community elders and community volunteers about the devastating impact of malaria on children residing in the village; this period (June - September) is the peak rainy season when malaria transmission, illness and death is highest among children. Located deep in the forest, Tunga-magajia village lacks any form of modern health facility. During the outreach, our team treated 154 children for malaria using artesunate combination therapy (ACT) which is recommended by World Health Organization. The malaria team also educated nursing mothers about the importance of environmental sanitation (clearing bushes around their houses and not leaving any standing objects that could collect stagnant water), and using insecticide treated nets as well as the absolute need to seek early treatment at the earliest suspicion of malaria (fever and or generalized body weakness), from the two resident community health volunteers who were trained by PSJ to offer simple first aid treatment to community members. Our outreach team also donated supplies of anti-malaria medicines to the community, which are now being managed by the trained community health volunteers.

Our efforts in these past three months would not have been possible without the support of our donors whose financial donations made it possible for us to procure medical supplies including anti-malaria medicines and pay for fuel costs for our vehicle to visit Tunga-magajia community. Your five, ten and 100 dollar donations have added up to make such a huge difference in the lives of dozens of these poor rural children. Your donations will save the lives of over 530 children, pregnant women this peak malaria season. On behalf of the communities we serve, we thank you for all your financial support.

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