Weekly Awesome Burkina Faso: Teaming Up with a Village Midwife to Combat Malaria

Anna Callaghan is a community health development volunteer living in a village located in the eastern region of Burkina Faso. Upon arriving in her village, Anna started to learn about the community needs by utilizing a series of tools she learned in pre-service training (PST). After a couple months of assessing the needs of the community, she discovered that malaria was a major problem in her village.

Baby sick with serious malaria at the local clinic.
Photo credit: Anna Callaghan http://annainburkina.blogspot.com/

A month later, the village midwife approached Anna with the idea to launch a malaria educational campaign. Soon, they developed a solid relationship based on the their commitment to malaria eradication. The midwife eventually become Anna’s primary counterpart in the community.  Anna and the midwife decided to focus their campaign on data collection of bed net usage while also educating the community about prevention and treatment. Over a couple months, they worked together to develop an community-specific education curriculum.

In the spring of 2012, they started visiting individual family courtyards to discuss malaria transmission, treatment, and prevention strategies. Anna and her counterpart have already visited 15 individual family compounds and have taken pictures of these families and their mosquito nets for increased incentive for mosquito net usage. Anna and her counterpart plan to continue doing these inspections throughout the duration of rainy season. Anna is very optimistic about the results of this campaign and the opportunity to expand the campaign’s message and audience. She claims that is it the enthusiasm and drive of her counterpart that makes the project a success.

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