Malaria Mother Co-ordinator: Hassena Foka

A baby sleeps in mother's arms"My name is Hassena Foka. I am 40-years-old and a mother of four boys and six girls. My family and I live in a small village called Yirgada in the Afar region of Ethiopia. The village is home to 300 pastoralist communities and has a health post and elementary school.

For many years we suffered a lot because malaria was widespread in our community and was unavoidable. We lacked knowledge about the cause of malaria, how it is transmitted and its prevention. As a result, we tried to treat malaria patients using traditional herbs and by feeding them with hot camel, goat and sheep milk.

The Amref Health Africa Afar Malaria Project recruited us and provided training on malaria prevention and control. We were then given the title of Malaria Mother Coordinators. The training has provided us with good knowledge and we now clearly understand what malaria is, how it is transmitted and prevented.

In particular I give lessons to my peers and the whole community on malaria prevention and control methods using participatory malaria prevention tools, picture-based kits and posters.

Using the toolkit, I am able to easily communicate malaria related messages to our communities to change people’s behaviour. I am also able to easily identify malaria cases and advise those suffering from it to go to nearby health facilities and seek treatment.

It is very important to me that malaria is prevented so I have decided to help my community voluntarily throughout my life. I would like to thank Amref Health Africa for visiting my village, training us and equipping us with knowledge to help many more people in the community."