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Oct 3, 2016

Creating Demand for Malaria Services in Saho-rami

IPC Facilitator educating Caregivers about malaria
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.

Jun 28, 2016

PSJ's Malaria team berths at Bukkagoma village

Malaria outreach at Bukkagoma village Kontagora
Malaria outreach at Bukkagoma village Kontagora

During this second quarter of 2016, among the communities reached by our malaria prevention outreach program team was Bukkagoma, a rural community in Kontagora Local Government Area of Niger State.

On arrival, the outreach team sensitized the community members on behavior change and environment sanitation to prevent malaria especially as we enter the peak rainy season when malaria transmission is highest in this region. Our mobile clinic team used the local Hausa language to educate community members how malaria is transmitted, early clinical signs and symptoms, the role of mosquitoes, the need for early diagnosis and treatment especially for children and how it can be controlled through environmental hygiene and sanitation.

During the integrated malaria outreach which also included vitamin A supplementation for children under-five, as well as voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing (HTC) for community members, a total of 115 (52 males and 63 females) villagers who presented with malaria symptoms (52 males and 63 females) were tested using the RDT rapid diagnostic kits and treated with Artesunate Combination Therapy (ACT). Also 100 community members (47 males and 53 females), voluntarily came forward for HIV testing and three females tested positive and have since been referred to the nearest ART hospital for further evaluation and treatment. 120 nursing mothers and pregnant women received long-lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) during the outreach.

 The outreach was highly impactful as six children who were seriously ill of sever malaria at the time of the outreach received life-saving malaria treatment. This intervention could not have been possible without the support of our donors. That is why we shout a big thank you to all our individual and corporate donors who support the work we do, most of whom have donated over and over again to this project. On behalf of the communities we serve, we thank you for your generosity and contributions to this project. We know that you have donated over and over to this project. We are very grateful. The children and their families that your donations saved their lives are indeed grateful. We are aslo grateful to the local Anglican Church Group that we collaborated with to support this particular outreach.

Mar 23, 2016

Malaria care reaches rural Tungan Gari village

RDT and ITN distribution at Tungan gari village
RDT and ITN distribution at Tungan gari village

On the 19th of March 2016, the malaria outreach team from Physicians for Social Justice, led by a medical doctor, two nurses and one laboratory technician, conducted a malaria outreach at Tungan-Gari village. The visit could not have come at a better time, considering that the rainy season is almost at hand; the period when malaria transmission, sickness and death among children is highest.

For this particular outreach, PSJ collaborated with a faith-based group (Living Faith) to deliver malaria care (Rapid Diagnostic Testing, RDT, treatment with Artesunate Combination Therapy, ACT, long-lasting Insecticide Treated Nets, ITNs, and malaria prevention education) to the people of Tungan-gari village in rural Niger State. Pregnant mothers were also educated on the importance of sleeping inside insecticide treated nets and on the need to receive intermittent malaria Prophylaxis Treatment (IPT), to protect their unborn babies against malaria. For Rahamatu, a 5-month old pregnant mother, who has been longing to have an ITN since she suffered an acute attack of malaria at six weeks of gestation. The visit of our malaria outreach team made her dream a reality, as she was handed a DuraNet (a long-lasting ITN) free of charge.

As we celebrate our successes in reaching villages of the last mile, we know we owe our successes to you, our donors. Without you it would have been impossible for us to reach rural villages like Tungan-gari with life-saving health services and commodities. Some of you have donated over and over again to this malaria project; we are profoundly grateful. On behalf of all the communities we serve, we specially thank you for keeping our project in mind. The beneficiaries of your support are full of gratitude. Thank you for partnering with us to save lives in rural Niger State.

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