Health volunteer Hayley Droppert, who serves in the village of Bapla in the southwest region of Burkina Faso, has been instrumental in leading the fight against malaria in her community. Through a series of effective interventions, Hayley has made a huge impact in her village and continues to be a leader in Burkina as other volunteers are inspired by her innovative projects. Hayley writes:
“As part of a larger PCPP [Peace Corps Partnership Program, where friends and family from home can make donations towards specific volunteer projects, special funds, or country funds] funded project, I worked with my community to make improvements to our clinic so that it was better equipped to help villagers avoid mosquitoes and treat malaria cases sooner. We installed mosquito window screens and screen doors in the maternity and infirmary where sick patients sleep. The clinic nurses and myself held a training for volunteer community health agents to teach them techniques for convincing villagers to sleep under mosquito nets and seek early treatment when malarial symptoms present themselves. In the clinic waiting room, we painted a mural to remind people of the importance of using their mosquito nets in preventing malaria.”
Effective screens for doors and windows continue to be a major problem at many health care facilities around the country as they are not a priority in rural communities with limited resources. As volunteers attempt to address this problem, they continue to work with community health workers to stress the importance of sleeping under treated bed nets to encourage their patients to seek early treatment for malaria. Through interventions like community meetings, animations, and formal trainings, we’re hoping to make malaria a priority at the community level, especially at health centers around the country.