Introduction: Power of Love Foundation’s, Project Mosquito Nets program provides long lasting insecticide treated bed nets to women and children vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. We would like to say a big “Thank You” to you for supporting this program. With your support, we were able to provide 1000 insecticide treated nets to women and children vulnerable to malaria in Zambia in June 2014 and will be providing an additional 1000 nets and education on malaria in August 2014.
Profile of Beneficiaries: Nets were provided to 1000 families in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. This compound is one of the largest and poorest in Lusaka with a population of around 80,000-90,000. Many parts of Matero are water logged and have sewer ponds, leading to a high prevalence of malaria and hence the need for malaria prevention via nets.
In order to identify and distribute nets to the intended beneficiaries we worked with several community organizations such as Churches, government health clinics, and other representative organizations. Beneficiaries were HIV positive children, children under the age of five, pregnant women, women who are breast feeding, and adults who are infected with TB/HIV. These sections of the population are most vulnerable to malaria as the immune system of people living with HIV is compromised, and because co-infection rates between malaria, HIV and TB are very high.
Distribution Activities: A few children played traditional Zambian games while waiting for the distribution activities to begin. The distribution activities commenced with singing and dancing by the women and children present. This was followed by dances by school children from the community. Several local and Church leaders participated in the distribution activities. The event was attended by Mrs. Malumo sister in-charge of Matero main Clinic, Rev. Phaika from Presbyterian Church Matero Congregation, Mr. Simusosha from Ward Development committee (he is the chair person in charge of CBOs in Matero), Mrs. Nkazwe from the Lusaka City Council, and Power of Love representatives.
Power of Love Foundation's, Project Nurse provided education on malaria prevention. He emphasized the importance of sleeping under a net every night as this is the most effective way to prevent malaria, and explained how to use and maintain (cleaning and storage) a net to prevent damage. In addition, he explained drainage and maintenance activities around the home, and filling and removal of breeding sites. Finally, he explained the importance of retreating nets every six months. This could be done during the Child Health Weeks held in June and December each year. The Nurse also underscored the need for keeping nets clean and stored properly.
This was followed by a demonstration on the proper use and maintenance of nets by a Nurse from one of the government clinics. She encouraged the participants to retreat the nets every few months and especially since the government clinics provide retreatment kits free of cost. Finally, the Nurse underscored the need for keeping nets clean and how to store them to prevent damage when not in use.
Impact of the Distribution: Provision of bed nets and education on malaria prevention goes a long way in eradicating malaria from the community. As a result of past distributions, we are seeing very few cases of malaria among children in our paediatric HIV/AIDS care program and a reduction in the incidence of malaria in our community. We will continue to conduct a post-distribution study to assess the impact of nets on the incidence of malaria and on the health of the beneficiary families. This study will assess: if the nets are being used every night, if the nets are being used and stored properly, if the nets are retreated every six months, and the health of the beneficiary families.
We expect to see a marked reduction in the incidence of malaria and an increase in school attendance due to improved health of the children.
Need for Nets: Follow-up interviews with nets recipients indicates that nets distributed over the last 2-3 years, are in good condition and are being used as directed. However, we need several thousand more nets as a majority of households cannot afford to purchase a net and are without bed nets in our community and in Zambia.
Next Distribution of Nets: We will be providing an additional 1000 nets and education on malaria prevention in August 2014.
Request for Funds: At this time we are raising funds to provide 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) in the Spring of 2015 and an additional 1000 nets in Fall 2015. Please donate generously as your donation will go a long way in preventing malaria and keeping the children healthy and in school.
Thanks for your dedication to prevent malaria in Africa.