Project #1886

Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu

by Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ)
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.

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.

On the 11th of October 2015, PSJ’s malaria outreach team made our first ever outreach visit to Dandinkowa village. The visit was occasioned by solicitations for such outreach made by community leaders to the management of PSJ; the community leaders had heard of the beneficial impact of similar outreach undertaken by PSJ in surrounding communities.

The malaria outreach was an integrated package that also included using Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit (RDT) to diagnose malaria, distribution of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LL-ITNs) to pregnant women and households with children under-five; distribution of multivitamins to pregnant women and lactating mothers; Albendazole (deworming treatment), and vitamin A supplementation for children under-five; as well as HIV Counselling and Testing (HTC) for all community members.

Our outreach medical team comprised two consulting physicians, four nurses, one HTC counselor, and one pharmacy technician. The immediate outcomes of the outreach include the following;
• 126 people (46 male and 80 female) tested for malaria using RDT kit, 33 children (12 and 21 female) tested positive for malaria, and they were treated with Artsemsinin Combination Therapy (ACT).
• 160 LLINs was distributed to households having under-five children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
• 250 children received Vitamin A supplement (100000IUs and 200000IUs)
• 375 children under-five were given Albendazole (de-worming tablets).
• 113 had HIV counselling and testing (37 males and 76 females).

During the outreach session, one of the testimonies was that of a 2-year old girl named Halimatu who received ACT and an Insecticide Treated Net. Her mother was full of gratitude to the malaria team and our donors. She confessed that was the first time her family ever received such free treatment and health commodities (ITN) free of charge. In addition, Halimatu also received Vitamin A supplementation and was also dewormed.

While giving his thank you remark at the end of the outreach, one of the community leaders expressed gratitude to PSJ’s donors and supporters who donated their resources that enabled PSJ to come to their community. Hear him in his own words; “We were not expecting this level of massive support from PSJ and their partners, you have exceeded our expectation with everything and all the services you rendered to our people in our community today, especially the mosquito nets they brought, every family with eligible children receive one, we really thank you for all the services you rendered to us today. We thank in a special way all those who supported you (PSJ) and made donations to your organization. May God bless all of you (PSJ & Donors). We hope you will visit our community again soonest”.

On behalf of these communities we serve, we at PSJ express our sincere thank you, to you our donors. We especially thank our individual donors. We also thank in a special way, our two corporate donors for this year; Wellspring Advisors and staffs of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for making huge donations to our malaria project at the begining of the year 2015. Without your donations, our work will not advance. Thank you for all your support.


CHW educating caregivers about early detection
CHW educating caregivers about early detection

Two week s ago, PSJ’s community health team visited Tegina community. It was the team’s second visit to the community this year 2015. The malaria outreach focused on clinical consultations, health education of caregivers about how to prevent malaria and detect danger signs of malaria, as well as distribution of vitamin A supplements to children under five. For some of the women, it was the first time in their lifetime that they welcomed community health workers into their homes to receive health education on malaria prevention and how to detect danger signs in children who have come down with malaria. While the health worker was talking to a group of women about how malaria complication can quickly snuff the lives of children if untreated early enough, it reminded me of the death of my younger brother (aged about two years then) who succumbed to malaria some years back in our village. It happened so quickly within a few days that he developed fever. That single incidence was both devastating and traumatic for me even up till today, especially with all the knowledge that I now have about malaria prevention and treatment. The truth is, my brother would not and should not have died, had my parents known more about how to detect danger signs of malaria early enough. Because of this personal tragedy, I vowed to wage war against malaria for the rest of my life; to prevent the fate of other children following the same path as my late brother.

To our donors, your donations have enabled this project to sustain the offensive campaign against malaria. Thank you for your generosity. Within the next couple of weeks, we will be distributing additional 2000 Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN) procured through a generous donation from Wellspring Advisors, a private philanthropic advisory firm with offices in New York, NY and Washington, DC. The ITNs will be distributed free to children under five, nursing mothers and pregnant women in 3 rural communities in rural Niger State. Recent research finding show that regular use of ITNs can reduce mortality due to malaria in children by as much as 30percent. Our team will continue to seek resources to expand our offensive beyond Mashegu to reach children in rural communities who are constantly under attack from malaria.

On behalf of the communities we serve, we express our sincere gratitude to you our individual and corporate donors who made financial contributions to this project so far. We know some of you have donated over and over again to this project. Just imagine how many more children would have died of malaria without your donation this year.
Thank you very much for all your support!

Mother & child for RDT malaria diagnosis & treatme
Mother & child for RDT malaria diagnosis & treatme

PSJ’s malaria prevention outreach activities continue to impact positively on the overall health and well-being of people in poor communities in rural Niger State. The project staff continue to work under very challenging security environment in northern Nigeria.

As the rainy season approaches, the period when malaria transmission is highest, the project has stepped up awareness creation and sensitization of individuals and families on simple environmental engineering and behaviour modifications that can help them eliminate malaria vector (female anopheles mosquitoes) breeding sites in and around their homes. Families especially pregnant women 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. We also continue to support health facilities in the use of malaria Rapid Diagnostic kits for proper diagnosis of malaria so that appropriate treatment can be instituted in a timely manner. Also during outreach activities, PSJ’s malaria team continued to emphasize and educate families especially mothers on how to recognize early symptoms and signs of malaria and on the need for sick children to receive prompt medical attention. This is particularly important because most of the deaths due to malaria among the under-5 children is due to delays in instituting treatment for such children.
Within this reporting period, we conducted outreaches in Agwara, Magama and Kashin communities. The project reached 530 pregnant mothers and 865 children under-5 with targeted prophylaxis, treatment and/ or insecticide treated nets.

Our malaria team also continued to focus on both health facility and school-based malaria education sessions for pregnant women (during antenatal sessions) and children in the rural communities we serve. Children who participated in these health education sessions now serve as messengers, taking what they have learnt to their various homes. One of the testimonials is that of a 6year old pupil, Hadiza, who took the malaria prevention message she learnt when our malaria team visited her school home, and succeeded in persuading her expectant mother to go to the clinic for antenatal care so she (mother) can benefit from IPT (malaria prevention treatment given to pregnant women at intervals). She also pleaded with her father to clear the vegetation in their house and remove all containers that could serve as mosquito breeding ground around their home.

Finally, we express our profound gratitude to all our individual donors who support the work we do, most of whom have donated over and over again to this project. We are also especially grateful to our corporate donors such as Wellspring Advisors for the massive donation to this project. Thank you for supporting the work we do. Your support to our work is our biggest strength. On behalf of the communities we serve, we say thank you for all your donations.

Women receiving malaria prevention messages in HF
Women receiving malaria prevention messages in HF

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Organization Information

Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ)

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

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