Gerard Gomes is a health volunteer living in a small village located in the central west region of Burkina Faso. Gerard works with a close friend in the community on malaria education around his community. His friend is not related to the local health clinic but is an influential social leader within the community with a particular interest in fighting malaria. By working outside of his health clinic, Gerard and his counterpart have targeted a population that lacks access to information about important health issues. The distance to the nearest health facility, damaged roads, lack of transportation, and pre-existing illnesses hinder this population from accessing adequate health care and information.
Their mission is to teach the community of how to they can protect themselves from malaria and to reduce the incidence of malaria overall in their community. In public discussions, they explain what the disease is and dispel any common misconceptions. Their primary message is that malaria is a disease that we can prevent together, as a community. They explain the ways to protect you and your family from malaria and conduct demonstrations of proper mosquito net use. They also inform the community about where to find mosquito nets and how to properly repair mosquito nets that are torn.
Gerard and his friend are satisfied with the community feedback from the sessions and are optimistic about their community’s fight against malaria. They plan to continue their education program in their community and are hopeful to expand to more neighboring communities later on.