POL Posts: Blogs, Reports & Updates
September 10, 2014

Malaria Prevention Day 2014

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.

Distribution Activities

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.

Impact of the Distribution

Provision of bed nets and education on malaria prevention and proper use and maintenance of nets goes a long way in reducing the incidence of malaria from the community. As a result of past distributions, we are seeing very few cases of malaria among children in our paediatric HIV care program. In 2014 only two children in our program contracted malaria and have recovered well. In addition, we are seeing an increase in school attendance due to improved health of the children.

In the community as a whole, we expect to see fewer cases of malaria, increased knowledge about proper use and storage of nets, fewer visits to the hospital/clinics, improved school attendance, and a higher quality of life and general well-being.

Follow-Up Study

We will continue to conduct a post-distribution study to assess the impact of nets on the incidence of malaria and on the health of the beneficiary families.

This study will assess the health of the beneficiary families as well as if the nets are being used every night, used/stored properly, and re-treated every six months.

Need for Nets

Follow-up interviews with nets recipients indicates that the nets distributed over the last 2-3 years are in good condition and are being used as directed. However, we need several thousand more nets as a majority of households cannot afford to purchase a net and are vulnerable to malaria in our community. Next

Distribution of Nets

We will be providing an additional 1000 nets and education on malaria prevention before the onset of the malaria season in 2015. At this time we are raising funds to provide 1000 long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN’s) in the Spring of 2015 and an additional 1000 nets in Fall 2015. Please donate generously as your donation will go a long way in preventing malaria and keeping the children both healthy and in school. Thank you for your dedication to preventing malaria in Zambia.

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