Joy as Family Prevents Malaria

A child sits under a malaria netNabirye Mary, a 35-year-old married woman lives in Njeru Village in Nakitoma sub-county, Nakasongola district, Uganda. She is one of the community members reached by Village Health Teams, trained by Amref Health Africa, through door-to-door visits. She is a mother of three children – 10-month-old twins and a four-year-old boy.

Until recently, Mary’s children frequently suffered from diarrhea and malaria, caused by poor sanitation. When members of the Village Health Team met with her in June 2011, she lamented that she did not have insecticide-treated mosquito nets and had minimal knowledge of malaria and diarrhea prevention.

Although Mary always thought about malaria prevention and treatment, she did not know how and where to start. She could not access available services because she did not have the money to get to the closest health centre, nine kilometres away. Mary told the Village Health Team that her children needed a lot of care since they were sick most of the time, limiting the time she could dedicate to productive work for her family.

Amref Health Africa, through a project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), supported Village Health Team organizations that talked to Mary and other mothers about the importance of accessing health care and provided them with valuable information that would enable them make informed decisions about their children’s health. Mary was among the 10,000 people who received long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets from Amref Health Africa.

Since June 2012 to date, Mary’s twins have not suffered from malaria or diarrhea. All the children are sleeping under mosquito nets.

When visited by Amref Health Africa project staff, Mary could not hide her joy as the health of her family has greatly improved thanks to Amref Health Africa. She is one of the hundreds of women in the district that have benefited from the services of Amref Health Africa community based organizations and Village Health Teams.