Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Malaria, soon to be an old story in Kangaba

Post by Dr. Abdrahamane Diallo, Coordinator of Plan’s project for maternal and neonatal health in Kangaba, Mali

Malaria is a killer. It claims the lives of so many children in Mali, but they die unnecessarily as the disease is easy to prevent. I became the coordinator of Plan’s project for maternal and neonatal health in Kangaba, an area where the risk from malaria was very high.

When I started in 2012, I knew the challenge would be great and require much energy and dedication from me. With approximately 36,932 pregnant women registered over the last year and 147,730 children under five at risk of malaria through 9 communes including 69 villages, it is a large population to protect. My main goal is then to contribute to the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality by fighting malaria, this disease being the first cause of medical consultation and death of children under five in the region.

For six months now, the entire population of Kangaba has been participating in awareness raising program about hygiene to prevent malaria. The first step in my plan to combat malaria was the training of 223 community volunteers, 12 midwives and 36 community health agents assigned to the 12 health areas. The health agents were given bikes to help them reach remote villages where they provide care.
The agents organize throughout the villages talk session with mothers on prenatal care during pregnancy. They perform rapid testing of malaria, provide anti malaria treatment and call for the use of impregnated mosquito nets for pregnant women and children.

Actually, I am hopeful that the fight against malaria in Kangaba will achieve significant results. In addition to the fierce determination of community volunteers and mothers to stop malaria killing their children, the local representatives, traditional chiefs and religious leaders are all committed to the cause of the project. They are more willing to participate to training and information sessions. They now take part in the planning and management of the campaign based on the needs of the health district. They are well aware of the project achievement objective: to contribute to the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality by fighting against malaria.

Learn more about Plan's work in Mali.

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