Project #4020

Improving children's health in villages in Darfur

by Kids for Kids
A delivery of new nets to our office in El Fasher
A delivery of new nets to our office in El Fasher

When the rains come so do hordes of mosquitoes.   Last year they brought not just malaria, but yellow fever.   Yellow fever is incurable.  It was the worst outbreak in Africa for decades.  One in four people die yet
not one person in our 62 Kids for Kids' villages caught it!    Kids for Kids is the only organisation that has been providing mosquito nets and blankets to the poorest families in remote villages.  They are vital for children's health.  We provide two mosquito nets to each family, but up to four children can sleep under each.   Most
children sleep directly on the sand in the small round huts.   The walls of the huts are made from straw so no barrier to insects.  Sandflies carry diarrhoea and sickness so our nets have a specially small mesh to keep
out sandflies too. 

When children are malnourished they succumb to chest infections very easily, and there is no health care in villages.   We need help to provide two blankets for each family.   This is urgent as during the winter
months nights in the desert can be bitterly cold.   Please help us to provide more nets and blankets for these children before it is too late. 

We need 524 mosquito nets and the same number of blankets right now for children in Byna, Hilat Hamid and Korno.  These are the villages we have adopted this year.

This summer 3.5 million people are at risk from starvation, yet in our villages there is no malnutrition.    We have incontestable proof that this project, alongside our complete package of help (such as water pumps, goat loans,
donkeys, first aid and midwifes) in our villages has all but eradicated malnutrition.  In Azargarfa, a village adopted by the charity in 2004, infant mortality has reduced dramatically from 500 deaths to 2 last year.  This is a stunning statistic and shows that our simple help at grassroots’ level is changing lives in the villages but also indicates that there is still so much to do. 

We must help more villages. If you can help us to tell people about the work of Kids for Kids in Darfur, you will be making a real lasting difference to the health of children no one else is helping.   With your help we have transformed many lives but there are still thousands in desperate need. 

A blanket delivery arrives in Darfur
A blanket delivery arrives in Darfur

One of our key interventions to improve the health of children in the villages in Darfur is the provision of mosquito nets to the poorest households and we have never been more pleased that we have been able to do this, with your support, as there has been an outbreak of yellow fever in the area during the past few months. This has meant that the children in these families have thankfully been protected. These children have also been protected from malaria which is an even bigger killer of children, In 2012 we were able to distribute 706 mosquito nets to the poorest families in the new villages we are supporting and in total we have distributed around 3,400 mosquito nets to families in the villages. This means that around 15,000 children have been protected from the spread of yellow fever and malaria. We have only been able to do this through the generosity of your support - but this is of course only a drop in the ocean and many, many children remain unprotected - yet it costs only $6 to save lives. Please help us to do more.

The village midwives, in partnership with the first aid workers, play a key role in advising mothers on infant care, particularly the correct way to feed their young babies and the importance of hygiene to prevent their children suffering from diarrhoea. Their intervention has contributed to reducing infant mortality in the villages and hence we are very pleased that 39 new midwives graduated last week at the end of their year long training at the Midwives Training School, financed by Kids for Kids. The women in their villages will be so pleased to have them back and to know that for the first time they have a trained midwife to help them with all aspects of pregnancy and infant and child care. This will give great peace of mind to the women.  

Our Project staff regularly monitor the activities which we fund in the villages and in October they undertook a detailed survey of a sample of the first aid workers who are the key people involved in improving children's health in the villages. They surveyed 10 first aid workers in 8 of our villages. This survey helped us to get a better picture of the activities of the first aid workers and the way in which they contribute to improving health in the villages. In total 80 patients had been treated and 20% of these had been transferred to the local hospitals. Almost half of the patients treated are children under 10 years old. The most common illnesses treated are diarhhoea, chest infections, malaria and inflamed eyes.  Another important part of their work is immunization and they have participated in 18 vaccination campaigns against polio, measles and meningitis - this is of incalculable benefit in protecting children from these potentially killer diseases and makes a huge contribution to improving the health of the children in the villages. The first aid workers also reported that their main activity in the villages is raising health awareness and advising villagers on adopting hygienic methods including the use of latrines.

Darfur is presently suffering an outbreak of yellow fever and there is no vaccination or treatment available. The only protection from the transmitting mosquito comes through mosquito nets. It is therefore fortunate that we have provided mosquito nets to all of the poor households which we support in our villages and so their children are being protected from the threat of yellow fever. We feel so grateful at this to all of you who have supported us that we have been able to help these families to keep their children safe and healthy.

The 55 first aid workers trained in April are now active in their villages providing vital assistance in emergencies and providing on-going health education focusing particularly on helping mothers to improve the nutrition of their young children. For the first time mothers have guidance on how to feed their babies and infants and simple messages can have a marked impact on reducing malnutrition.

Another intervention which KIDS FOR KIDS undertakes to improve the health of children is the provision of mosquito nets as malaria is a major killer of children. We are pleased to report that 436 mosquito nets have been distributed in the last few months to the poorest families which we are supporting in the six villages which have been adopted by KIDS FOR KIDS during 2011/12. Thus 30 households in Elfaki Ali, 52 in Umlayuna, 40 in Seweilinga, 21 in Hilat Khabir, 22 in Amar Jaded and 39 in Mugabil have received mosquito nets with each household receiving 2 mosquito nets. The families have also received training in re-treating the nets to ensure their continued effectiveness. Based on past experience we are hopeful that we shall see a significant reduction in the incidence of malaria amongst the children of these families.

Key actors in improving children's health in the villages in Darfur are the first aid workers who, in addition to providing front line treatment for minor ailments, are actively engaged in health education. A very important aspect of this is working with mothers in the care of their children focusing particularly on nutrition as so many of the children are malnourished, and this is at least partly due to mothers' lack of knowledge of the nutritious qualities of foods which are around in the village. So it is good to be able to report that 55 volunteer first aid workers from 31 villages received their training from 1-15 April. This means that all of the 60 villages supported by KIDS FOR KIDS have at least one trained first aid worker and most of them have two first aid workers so that they are able to support each other. On completion of their training the first aid workers were provided with a starter kit containing basic equipment and medicines. Each first aid worker was also provided with a cross bred donkey to enable them to reach people in need quickly.


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Organization Information

Kids for Kids

Location: Dorking, Surrey - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Patricia Parker
CEO & Chairman of Trustees
Dorking, Surrey United Kingdom

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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