We would like to say a big “thank you” for supporting Power of Love Foundation’s Project Mosquito Nets program. With your support, we were able to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets to women and children vulnerable to malaria in Zambia in the summer of 2014.
Nets were provided to 2000 families in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. This compound is one of the largest and most impoverished compounds in Lusaka with a population of 80,000-90,000. Many parts of Matero are water logged and have sewer ponds, leading to a high prevalence of malaria and hence a need for malaria prevention and education.
Profile of Beneficiaries
Beneficiaries of nets were children and families in Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program, women vulnerable to malaria in Power of Love’s microloans program and children who attend the Safe Park program and members of the community who are vulnerable to malaria. In order to identify and distribute nets to the intended beneficiaries we worked with several community organizations such as Churches, and government health clinics, and other representative organizations. Most of the beneficiaries were HIV positive children, children under the age of five, pregnant moms, women who are breast feeding and adults who are infected with TB and/or HIV. These sections of the population are most vulnerable to malaria as their immune system is compromised, and because co-infection rates between malaria, HIV and TB are very high.
Children played traditional Zambian games while waiting for the distribution activities to begin. The distribution activities commenced with singing and dancing by the women and children present. This was followed by dances by children from St. John’s Ambulance. The event was attended by Rev. Phaika from Presbyterian Church Matero Congregation, Power of Love representatives and volunteers, Matero Care Center staff, representatives from Churches, community organizations and clinics in Matero, and community members.
Power of Love's Project Nurse commenced the health/malaria education part of the day’s activities by giving a short talk on hygiene and health. This was followed by education on malaria prevention and the proper use of nets by health care professional from local clinics.
Highlights of the malaria prevention education, (led by a nurse from the Matero Clinic) included:
- proper use of mosquito nets, drainage maintenance, filling and removal of breeding sites, re-treating of mosquito nets.
- maintenance of nets (cleaning and storage) to prevent damage
- negative impacts of malaria in pregnancy e.g. maternal death, abortion, still birth and low birth weight.
- information about malaria for HIV+ children.
- identification of signs and symptoms of malaria.
- proper storage of nets when not in use
The nurse explained that the best way to prevent malaria was to sleep under a net every night during malaria season. In addition, she underscored the importance of re-treating nets every six months, which can be done during the Child Health Weeks held in June and December each year. She informed the gathering that government clinics provide re-treatment kits free of cost. The Nurse also emphasized the need for keeping nets clean and stored properly.