In August 2012, members of Odiado Tumaini Orphan and Vulnerable Children Association met to discuss the burden that malaria has on families and the wider community in Samia District in Kenya. Malaria is endemic in Western Province and transmission there is intense- in October alone there were 1,941 reported cases of malaria in children under 5 years of age in Samia District (DHIS2, 2012). Children under 5 years are at the greatest risk of severe complications, including death, from malaria.
One of the strategic objectives of the National Malaria Strategy is to have at least 80 percent of people living in malaria risk areas using appropriate malaria preventive interventions by 2013 through universal long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) coverage for populations at risk.
At the end of the session, LLINs were distributed to all OVC members in the sub-location of Odiado. Caught up in the excitement of the day, group members spontaneously held hands and lifted their arms high in a show of commitment to working towards a malaria-free Kenya.
Peace Corps Volunteer Sarah Kaufmann is currently working with the association to develop a strategy to combat malaria in their community. Fieldworkers will visit their homes in the next few months to ensure nets are being properly used and to assist households in hanging them if necessary. The association continues to work together distributing nets in Odiado and fighting for a malaria free community.