IPC Facilitator educating Caregivers about malaria
During this reporting period the Preventing Childhood Malaria team implemented a month-long malaria prevention and treatment outreach activities in Sahon-rami and Kaboji villages in rural Mashegu. Among other strategies, the outreach interventions focused on house-to-house mobilization of caregivers, households and communities members to build and sustain community support for appropriate malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment behaviours, including mobilizing communities to prioritize the health and wellbeing of their children, and to set malaria-free health goals. In this regard, PSJ’s team of trained IPC community-based facilitators conducted series of Inter-Personal Communication (IPC) sessions to create demand for available malaria services, educating community members about malaria prevention and promoting health-seeking behaviour among care givers, which is key to tackling the scourge of malaria deaths in our environment where at least 30% of all hospitalizations among children-5 is due to malaria.
In this regard, PSJ deployed six teams of trained Interpersonal communication facilitators to the two villages to encourage every caregiver and community member to seek appropriate malaria diagnosis and treatment for their children. This becomes even more pertinent considering the fact that Nigeria loses about 2,300 children under-five every day, and at least 25 percent of these deaths are due to malaria.
At the end of the month-long campaign, over five hundred households was visited, and one thousand three hundred and seventy three caregivers were reached with key messages including cause of malaria, symptoms, adverse economic impact of malaria, and effective malaria treatment, need for early diagnosis, as well as malaria prevention strategies including the use Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINS) and environmental hygiene.
Also, two hundred and nine LLINS were given free to households with children under-five, thanks to the donations we received from donors like you. Also one hundred and nine sick community members mostly children who presented with symptoms of malaria had Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for malaria diagnosis and the sixty two children who tested positive to malaria received free Artesunate Combination Therapy (ACT), which is the WHO recommended treatment for malaria in Nigeria. A case in point is that of a sick two-year old boy named Tahir, who presented with high fever, tested malaria positive and instantly received full doses of ACT in addition to LLIN to prevent future illness due to malaria. Without this malaria outreach intervention, Tahir’s parents could not have been able to afford the $2 worth of ACT and $5 worth of LLIN that Tahir received. Every day, parents like Tahir’s who live on less than $1 a day are full of gratitude to you our donors for restoring the health, wellbeing and dignity of their children through your contributions, that is making the 'right to health' a reality, in the life of poor rural villagers in rural Mashegu. Like Tahir, we at Physicians for Social Justice, also say thank you for all your support, and for donating over and over again to our project; Preventing Childhood malaria Deaths in rural Mashegu. END.