An Impromptu Malaria Talk

During last March, I went to visit my village during my long stay at the Kasama house after fracturing my leg. I met with a neighbor who informed me that his family has been severely inflicted by malaria, so I did a one-on-one impromptu training with him.
I helped him hang up his ITN correctly in his hut, as it was still in the bag in the corner of the hut. I informed him to sleep under the ITN every night to prevent the mosquitoes from biting them. I also noticed that his surface-water well was not covered, so informed him that he and the other community members who use it should keep it covered to prevent he mosquitoes from breeding in the standing water in the well. The grass around his hut had just been cut, so I just reminded him to continue to keep the grass short and to have his neighbors cut their grass so the mosquitoes don’t have another place to breed. I informed him that if any other members of his family, especially the young children, are getting any of the symptoms of malaria to go to the clinic within 24 hours to be tested and treated.
I then wrote, organized, and co-facilitated Series II training on malaria for all Neighborhood Health Committee (NHC) members and community health workers (21 of 60 expected participants attended). The training discussed the facts of malaria in Zambia, how malaria works, signs/symptoms of malaria, treatment, and malaria prevention at the village level. A new zone (Menga) was included to the Chanda Mukulu Cacthment of which 4 members of their NHC attended the malaria training.
I repeated the Series II: Malaria Training for NHC members and community health workers where an additional 32 people who attended that did not come to the first Series I. I learned from a clinic volunteer that my trainings on malaria encouraged people to come to clinics to be tested for malaria and to get treated instead of just self-diagnosing.
I have to confess that I have not done a lot of malaria work in my village, as I have focused much of my work on HIV/AIDS. However, I had a meeting District Health staff where the Neighborhood Health Committee members agreed to write a budget to submit to the district to request for funding for World Malaria Day on April 25th. However, we were not able to complete the planning in time for April 25th, but stayed tuned for April 30th, when our event will take place!!
Stomp Out Malaria in Zambia.
Mara Hildebrand, Chanda Mukulu, Kasama, Northern Province, Community Health and Improvement Program


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