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Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu

by Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ)
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu
LLIN demostration rural Mashegu
LLIN demostration rural Mashegu

In this first quarter of 2020, PSJ’s Malaria Prevention Project continued outreach activities in rural Mashegu. In this report, we especially highlight outreach activities implemented in Sahon-rami village, which happens to be the birthplace of the project in 2008.

25year old Sefiya, mother of three, who resides in Sahon-rami, is one of the project beneficiaries during one of the recent outreaches which targeted at least 300 vulnerable households in the community. Being an expectant mother, she received twoLong-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) for herself and her two-year old daughter. For her, the LLINs are invaluable to her health, that of her unborn baby and that of her little daughter. The last LLIN she received from the team was about four years ago and it is torn on multiple points and could no longer protect her and her child from mosquito bites, that could result in malaria. Her daughter has had at least two episodes of malaria attacks within the past 3 months due to repeated exposure to mosquito bites. She dreaded the onset of this year’s rainy season when malaria transmission usually peaks. Her worries and anxiety were dramatically answered when PSJ’s malaria team showed up in her village, as she became the owner of two brand new LLINs. “Since we could not afford the cost to replace our old ITNs, I have been so bothered about how I and my children especially my little daughter would cope with mosquitoes and the resultant malaria attacks during this upcoming rainy season, coupled with my pregnancy condition ( knowing that pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to malaria), until succour came through group from PSJ and their supporters”, remarked Sefiya. She was full of gratitude for the two new LLINs delivered to them free of any cost, right in their village.

More than 760 households were reached with malaria prevention activities including health education and malaria risk communication in rural Mashegu in the first quarter of 2020. There was also LLIN demonstration sessions on how to air and care for LLINs, malaria Rapid Diagnostic Testing & treatment services, as well as health talk to community members on the importance of sleeping inside ITNs. The household-based sensitization provided yet another opportunity to reinforce malaria prevention messages on elimination of mosquito breeding sites around dwelling houses as we prepare to welcome the next rainy season when malaria transmission escalates. Caregivers were also educated on recognition of symptomatic manifestation of malaria and on the need for sick infants and children who are the most vulnerable group to receive prompt medical attention.

The team also engaged in dialogue with community stakeholders to sustain community support and get their feedback on how the project can address the increasing demand for malaria services in the target communities. All these successes could not have been possible without the support of all our donors like you who made donations that enable us to reach these remote communities and provide these essential life-saving commodities free-of. On behalf of the communities we serve, we express our profound gratitude for your generosity and solidarity

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Household LLIN demostration in rural kontagora
Household LLIN demostration in rural kontagora

In September 2019, Physicians for Social Justice launched a Long-Lasting Insecticide Net (LLIN) awareness and distribution campaign in 82 rural communities in Kontagora. It was a most ambitious campaign planned and executed in collaboration with local partners and the state & local government authorities in Niger State. Within this reporting period of September to December 2019, all 82 mostly rural communities were vreached by malaria mobile health outreach teams and trained community volunteers.

Activities implemented include advocacy visits to key community stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders in the target communities to get their commitment and support on the LLIN campaign, house-to-house LLIN demonstration sessions on how to air and care for LLINs in 780 households, targeted malaria prevention education, prophylaxis, malaria Rapid Diagnostic Testing & treatment services, health talk to community members on the importance of sleeping inside insecticide treated nets. As part of the campaign’s social mobilization activities, PSJ also launched a community theatre to raise awareness about malaria and reinforce already delivered messages to families about ways of malaria prevention. Our outreach mobile health team continued to emphasize and educate families especially nursing mothers on how to recognize early symptoms and signs of malaria and on the need for pregnant women, infants and young children to be taken to health facilities to receive prompt malaria diagnosis and treatment. A total of 6192 community members received health education, 780 households received LLINs, including 102pregnant women. had RDT tests.

It was indeed joyful for thousands of community members who trooped out en-mass to listen to the sensitization sessions and to watch demonstration sessions on how to hang and care for LLINs, even as they expressed their gratitude to our donors for remembering them once again by bringing the malaria outreach campaign to their doorsteps. On behalf of these communities we serve, we thank all our donors. We specially thank our donors who have made recurring donation to this project. For the hundreds of children and pregnant women whose lives have been saved by your donations, we say thank you.

Household LLIN demostration Dadinkowa village
Household LLIN demostration Dadinkowa village
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Nursing mother shows off her LLIN at Adogo village
Nursing mother shows off her LLIN at Adogo village

On behalf of the communities we serve in rural Mashegu, we start this update report with an expression of our profound gratitude and sincere appreciation to our donors for their generous donations towards supporting our malaria prevention project. We are especially most thankful to Ford FoundationMatching Gift Program (via GlobalGiving) for generously supporting the mobile health camps and malaria prevention outreach activities in Adogo and Kaboji communities and surrounding villages.

This reporting period (Quarter 2 of 2019) Physicians for Social Justice, PSJ, team of clinicians, community health workers and mobilizers conducted back-to-back Integrated Malaria outreach and Mobile health camps in Kaboji and Adogo communities in rural Mashegu. To reach underserved villages in and around Adogo community, the team drove for over two hours in a four-wheel drive truck loaded with lifesaving anti-malaria medications and other medical supplies. Adogo and its surrounding villages are hard-to-reach with most of its inhabitants engaged in peasant farming. For these communities, one of their biggest concerns include the poor state of maternal, newborn and child health in their community, malaria being a major contributor.

The mobile health camp in Kaboji and Adogo communities successfully reached 1,578 women mostly pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and under-5 children were tested for malaria using rapid diagnostic test (RDT). 1444 community members who tested positive to malaria were treated with Artesunate Combination Therapy (ACT) including 607 children and 807 women. Also 150 pregnant and nursing mothers were provided with Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs). For mothers like 21year old Ramatu, the visit of the mobile health team to her village in Adogo was a life saver for her 9months old baby boy, Hassan, who had been running high fever. With no money to travel to the neighbouring town to visit the health centre, she had arrived the venue of the mobile outreach at around 7 am and waited patiently for over two hours for the mobile health team to arrive. Using RDT, baby Hassan was diagnosed malaria positive and was promptly treated with ACT and antipyretics. Two days later, the baby Hassan made a full recovery which her mother, Ramatu, described as ‘miraculous’. She was full of gratitude to all our donors who made Hassan’s access to free treatment possible through their donations.

In addition, community members were sensitized on malaria signs and symptoms, as well as prevention measures, which include sleeping under LLINs and draining away stagnant water in their homes and surroundings. In addition to malaria. The mobile clinic and health campaign also provided medical consultations and treatment for villagers on other ailments, such as body aches, ulcer, diarrhea, typhoid, skin lesions, and worms. 664 Children received Vitamin A capsules (200,000UI and 100,000UI) and Albendazole for de-worming, while 562 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers received multivitamins..

The two mobile health camps were conducted timely during a period when the incidence of malaria cases spike in this region as the SW monsoon winds usher-in heavy rains which provides a fertile breeding environment for malaria vector, female anopheles mosquitoes,  For the predominantly farming population in Kaboji and Adogo communities, the situation is exacerbated by the lack of proper drainages as well as widespread shortages of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs). Additionally, owing to poor healthcare infrastructure, access to Maternal and Newborn Child Health services are very limited in rural communities like Adogo.

Once again, the entire PSJ team are grateful to you our donors for all your generous donations in support of this project. Thank you.

LLIN distribution to pregnant women
LLIN distribution to pregnant women
Malaria outreach Kaboji
Malaria outreach Kaboji
Malaria outreach & LLIN distribution Kaboji
Malaria outreach & LLIN distribution Kaboji

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Kawo ITN distribution Malaria mobile clinic
Kawo ITN distribution Malaria mobile clinic

For this reporting period, in early May 2019, our malaria outreach team led by a community health clinician revisited Kawo village, a rural community in Kontagora. Kawo is a memorable community for our team, because of the extreme hospitality of its people; the first time we visited Kawo village, its women, children, young and old beamed with contagious smiles. They were practically ecstatic and extremely happy to receive our mobile clinic team. On arrival this time, the mobile health team paid courtesy visit to the village head and his council of elders. The community leaders welcomed our team, and thanked us for remembering their community once more.

 Once we finished with the initial community entry formalities with the community elders, the mobile health team proceeded to the village square where pregnant women and nursing mother were already eagerly awaiting the arrival of the mobile team. The team quickly settled down and provided both preventive and curative malaria services to infants as well as nursing and pregnant mothers using medicines provided with donations received from our globalgiving donors. All cases of fever among children and pregnant women were screened for malaria using the malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) while those who tested positive were given full course of Artemisinin Combination Therapy (ACT).

 In addition, 35 pregnant women and nursing mothers with infants received free Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LL-ITNs) and multivitamin tablets for pregnancy donated by 'Vitamin Angels'. 38 children who presented with fever were tested for malaria using RDT kit, while 21 who tested positive were treated with full doses of Artsemsinin Combination Therapy (ACT) free of charge. In addition, 109 female caregivers received comprehensive malaria prevention education with specific focus on behaviour change and environment sanitation. The community health extension worker who accompanied the team used the local dialect to educate caregivers on malaria epidemiology, clinical features, and the importance of pregnant women and infants to sleep under insecticide treated nets.

 Nigeria currently accounts for 19percents of the global burden of malrai (WHO). To bridge the treatment gap among children in rural communities such as Kawo, Physicians for Social Justice is fully adopting and implementing World Health Organizations, WHO’s, recommended uptake of integrated community case management (iCCM), as strategy to  promote integrated management of common life-threatening conditions in children – malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea especially at the community levels

Community leaders, caregivers and women were full of gratitude to the team for once more showing solidarity and coming to their aid in their battle with malaria. The pregnant women were particularly joyful for the ITNs distributed to them, knowing fully well that the rainy season has arrived; and that is the period when malaria transmission is highest. This gratitude was examplified by Maimuna, a young pregnant woman who beamed with smile, bowed in deep appreciation, and uttered the word 'mungode, mungode, mungode gaskia', in local diaect (translated ' thank you so so so much') when she was handed a piece of ITN.At the end of the malaria outreach, community members expressed their deep grateful to all those who made the malaria outreach possible, most especially all our global giving donors. Community leaders were also full of thanksgiving to the team and you, our donors for once more remembering their village in health care service delivery.

 The entire mobile clinic team, on behalf of the communities we serve, once more express our profound gratitude to all our donors who have donated generously to make these malaria mobile clinic outreach activities possible; for us to procure the malaria medicines, the insecticide treated nets, as well as being able to pay for transport costs for the malaria team to reach rural communities like Kawo. Sleeping under ITNs alone dramatically reduces the chance of contracting malaria for infants and pregnant women. Be assured that your donations have made really huge difference in saving lives.

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Young children who received free LLINs
Young children who received free LLINs

In late October, PSJ’s community health team re-visited Tegina community. It was our team’s second outreach to Tegina community this year 2018.

Our outreach medical team included community physician, two community health workers, one HIV Testing and Counsellor, and a pharmacy technician. The malaria outreach focused on clinical consultations of sick children and pregnant mothers presenting with fever, distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINS), health education of caregivers about how to prevent malaria and detect danger signs of malaria, as well as distribution of vitamin A supplements and deworming medications to children.

With the aid of malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit (RDT), all sick children and pregnant women who were suffering from malaria were properly diagnosed and put on treatment using artesunate combination therapy. In addition, the team distributed Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LL-ITNs) to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under-five.

A total of 103 children and 23 pregnant women were tested for malaria using RDT kit, out of which 63 children and 15 pregnant women tested positive for malaria.  All who tested positive were treated with Artsemsinin Combination Therapy (ACT).  Also 123 LLINs was distributed to households having under-five children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. A total of 121 children received de-worming tablets. And 82 adults including (22 males and 60 females) were counselled and tested for HIV.

4-year old Abdul who was treated for malaria and also received Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LL-ITNs)ACT with his sister. His mother bears testimony to the life-saving impact of this malaria project in the life of her son, Abdul. Abdul's mother was full of thanksgiving to the malaria team and our donors for providing free malaria treatment for her son who had nearly succumbed to malaria. She was also full of gratitude for the LL-ITN given to her son Abdul. “if not for you people, where would I have gotten money to treat my sick son and also buy a mosquito net to protect him from further malaria attack”, exclaimed Abdul’s mother.

On behalf of the entire team, we express our special thank you to all our donors who have supported this project over the years. Your donations have enabled this project to sustain our campaign against malaria; the number one childhood killer disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. Your generosity has travelled to villages of last mile to touch the lives of children. Our team will continue to seek resources to expand our offensive beyond Mashegu to reach. Thank you for all your support.

On behalf of the children and people in all the communities we serve, we thank you for all your financial support to this project so far. We know you have donated over and over again to this project over the years. We are definitely inching closer to our target of drastically reducing death of children due to malaria. The LLINs that we distributed from your donations are working and are being deployed to thousands of households all over the communities that our project has reached with services.

 

Young children who received free LLINs
Young children who received free LLINs
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Organization Information

Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ)

Location: P. O. Box 18 Kontagora, Niger State - Nigeria
Website:
Project Leader:
Chukwumuanya Igboekwu
Health Program Associate
P. O. Box 18 Kontagora, Niger State Nigeria

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