ITN demostration during a house hold visit at Nasara village
Our malaria project continues to make positive impact in the life of children and their families in rural Mashegu; thanks to the generous donations from our donors. During the past two months, we adopted a new strategy of targeted house to house malaria prevention campaign to educate families on how to eliminate vector (mosquito) breeding sites in their environment. This is particularly important as July and August marks the period of peak rainy season which provides favorable breeding conditions for malaria. This also translates to peak period of malaria attacks and deaths for children under-five.
Within this reporting period, the project team conducted outreaches in three villages, namely Adogon, Nassarawa and Sahon-rami. The project reached 2350 vulnerable households with targeted malaria prevention education, prophylaxis and insecticide treated nets. The house to house visits provided a unique opportunity for the malaria team to educate families about malaria prevention through environmental sanitation. In particular, elimination of mosquito breeding sites was emphasized, as this is the period of peak rainy season when malaria transmission is highest. Families were also educated about early symptoms and signs of malaria and on the need for sick children to receive prompt medical attention. Insecticide treated nets were distributed to pregnant women among the families visited.
The project team also conducted three school-based malaria education sessions for children in the three community primary schools in these villages. During the school outreaches, sick children also received medical attention from the malaria team physician. Of note was the case of six year old Hadiza who was treated by the malaria team during the visit by the malaria team to her school at Adogon. She had developed fever about 2 days prior to the malaria team visit. But due to lack of financial resources, her parents could not afford to take her to the health facility, so her condition had continued to deteriorate.
Luckily for Hadiza, the mobile team visited her school two days after the onset of her illness. She was diagnosed of acute malaria by the mobile team doctor; and received antimalaria treatment free of charge. One week later, we received a short note from Hadiza expressing her gratitude to the malaria team for curing her. Here is what she wrote: “Good morning sir, I want to thank you for treating me when you visited our school last week. Before you gave me medicines, I feel feverish and too weak to play with my friends. I could not do draw my favourite pictures. But now I am well again. I can play with my friends again. Thank you doctor and nurse for treating me. My mother is very happy that I am well again”.
In rural mashegu, thousands of young children who suffer acute attacks of malaria frequently develop complications such as anemia and convulsions, because they do not receive prompt treatment, and such complications are usually the cause of their death.
Although the house to house campaign strategy that we have recently adopted was very tedious and time consuming, it proved very rewarding as it provided the malaria team the opportunity to see firsthand the environmental conditions under which families live, and to offer tailor made advice on how they (families) can improve environmental hygiene and eliminate mosquito breeding sites around their homes.
We are very grateful to all our benefactors who donated to this project; most of whom have donated to this project over and over again. We thank you for your unrelenting generosity. We thank you for the lifeline you have given to thousands of children in rural Mashegu though your donations. With your donations, many children like Hadiza will have the opportunity to receive life-saving treatment.
Thank you and May God bless you.
A family visited during house to house visit
A pregnant mother recieving ITN from malaria team