A young girl who benefited from ITN in Kaboji
PSJ’s Preventing Childhood Malaria Deaths in rural Mashegu began in 2008 as the first community-based intervention to tackle the age long scourge of malaria in rural Mashegu. With contributions and donations from hundreds of our donors, the project has made real impact in reducing the infant deaths in the communities that have had contact with the project. This project is unique because it reaches villages of last mile; villages that have suffered repeated denials of basic social services.
For the first time in history, pregnant and nursing mothers had access to free insecticide treated nets (ITNs) in rural Mashegu. For some of them, it was the first time in their lives they saw and knew what an ITN looks like. Because of this project, hundreds of children in rural Mashegu were able to attain the milestone of their fifth birthday alive. Because of this project, thousands of nursing mothers were saved the nightmare of giving birth to very low birth weight babies. You!, our donors, brought blessing and hope to thousands of poor families in the communities we serve through your donations. As we look back to those initial periods, I remember the story of a 19 year old mother of two who was full of gratitude for PSJ’s malaria team’s intervention in saving the life of her 18month old daughter who was treated and cured of severe malaria. In addition, she received and ITN free of charge. Since then, because of your repeated donations to this project, we have been on the offensive against malaria in the communities we serve. Thank you for your generosity. Moving forward, we continue to seek resources to expand our offensive beyond Mashegu to other local areas and rural communities who are under attack from malaria. During this quarter, our community outreach took PSJ’s malaria project team to Kaboji village where the team conducted the following activities.
i.) Health education on malaria prevention with specific focus on behavior change and environment sanitation including clearing grasses and broken bottles, plastics or containers that could hold water from the vicinity of their houses. PSJ facilitators used the local Hausa language and IEC material to educate villagers how malaria is transmitted, early clinical signs and symptoms, the role of mosquitoes, the need for early diagnosis and treatment especially for infants, under-5 children and pregnant women as well as how female anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria can be eliminated through environmental sanitation.
ii.) Thereafter, the team conducted a demonstration session on how to use and maintain insecticide treated nets, PSJ’s malaria team distributed 40 insecticide treated nets to 40 lucky pregnant women and nursing mothers with young infants (see photos attached).
iii.) 48 sick infants and under-five children were treated for malaria by health workers who were part of the team. The outreach was very timely as it took place during the period when malaria transmission is highest. Villagers especially mothers were very appreciative of the outreach and for the ITNs they received. They however appealed for more frequent visits by the malaria team. They thanked Physicians for Social Justice and you our donors for your generosity and philanthropy.