Project #1886

Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in Mashegu

by Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ)

During this Q4 harmattan season, our malaria prevention and treatment outreach activities continued in six rural villages in rural Mashegu including Babanrami, Mulo, Sabon-rijia, Sahon-rami, Kaboji and Kawomulo. Our teams of IPC facilitators deployed to these villages continued their house-to-house visits to educate and sensitize community household members on malaria prevention practices (environmental sanitation), and encourage every caregiver and community member to seek appropriate malaria diagnosis especially for their children and pregnant women, as well as providing treatment for sick children down with malaria.

Because of your donations, between November and December 2016, we were able to reach 1911 households and 5315 caregivers with lifesaving messages including how infected mosquitoes cause of malaria, danger symptoms of the disease in children U5, need for early diagnosis, where they can access malaria treatment, as well as malaria prevention strategies including the use Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINS) and environmental hygiene.

Because of your support we procured and distributed 423 LLINS free-of-charge to households with vulnerable children under-five. Because of your generous donations, we acquired the tools and medicines that our team of clinicians administered on 7month old Rukkaya that saved her life. She had battled malaria for three days; her parents were losing hope of her recovering, before our team arrived their Sabon-rijia village. On presentation, she tested positive for malaria (using Rapid Diagnostic Test, RDT), and was immediately commenced on parenteral anti-malaria therapy. Three days later, she made full recovery. Children like Rukkaya owe their future to your generosity, for making it possible for them to live beyond their fifth birthday. The team also treated 207 other children U5 who presented with symptoms of malaria (after RDT confirmation) with free Artesunate Combination Therapy (ACT) in line with WHO recommended treatment guideline for malaria treatment.

Like Rukkaya’s parents, we at Physicians for Social Justice, are also grateful for all your support, and for making it possible for us to reach these vulnerable children. END.

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.

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.



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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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