Usually, the period between June and September marks the peak of rainy season in rural mashegu. This year was certainly not an exception. The rainy season characteristically witnesses malaria vector (mosquito) multiplication and increase in breeding sites that inevitably leads to more malaria attacks especially for children.
For this quarter (June – September 2008), the PSJ malaria control team concentrated our malaria control outreach activities in three rural communities that lack any form of modern health facilities. These communities represented areas where children were most vulnerable during the peak malaria attack season. They include Tunga-Magajia, Maiasara, and Nassarawa-mullo.
As is typical of peak rainy season, the biggest challenge we faced was that of logistics to reach remote villages like Tunga-Magajia due to the dilapidated un-motor able state of the roads leading to the villages. It was difficult to get through even with motorcycles. What remained of the existing road was so marshy and waterlogged that it very difficult for one to put his feet down on the ground. Meandering through the bush paths to get the desperately needed services to children in those villages was even more difficult.
Despite these challenges, our malaria control team treated a total of 556 children who had acute attacks of malaria. 112 infants received anti-malaria prophylaxis. Due to dwindling resources, we were able to distribute only 123 insecticide treated nets during this quarter.
On behalf of the villagers and the children we serve, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to all the 38 donors who made financial contributions to this project so far. We know some of you have donated more the once to this project. Some have even made up to 4donations. Thank you so much! Through your donations, many children’s lives have been saved and many more children were able to stay in school to get more out of their education.
Also recently, just last month, we conducted an intensive three-day training program for 40 teachers in 15 rural primary schools on ‘the prevention, early detection and first-Aid treatment of simple malaria’ for pupils in their school. Each of the 15 participating schools also got a fully stocked first-Aid box with anti-malaria medicines (for prophylaxis and treatment). The training was made possible through a grant that PSJ received from American Jewish World Service (AJWS) and the Global Fund for Children (GFC).
For those children who live in villages without any modern basic health facility, this new innovative arrangement has become life-saving as their schools now serve dual purposes as centers for learning as well as centers for health promotion. For these children, the school represents the center of their community life.