The Power of Love team along with the families in Zambia, would like to say a big “thank you” for supporting “Project Mosquito Nets” program in Zambia. As a result of your generosity and caring, we are seeing a reduction in the incidence of malaria in our community and with improved health more children are able to attend school regularly.
Power of Love’s malaria prevention program, provides long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia. Our vision is to eradicate malaria from Zambia and our goal is to eradicate malaria from the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia.
Over the last ten years we have been able to provide over 22,000 nets and education on malaria prevention to families in Kenya and Zambia. At our most recent malaria prevention day in July 2016, we could provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on malaria prevention to women and children vulnerable to malaria in Zambia. Based on a study conducted to assess the impact of program activities, we can conclude that nets distributed over the last 2-3 years are in good condition, are being used as directed, and families are more knowledgeable about malaria prevention. These activities have reduced the incidence of malaria in the community.
Is Malaria Still a Problem?
Globally malaria is still a problem as there were an estimated 214 million cases of malaria and 438,000 deaths in 2015. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. This region was home to 89% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths in 2015. In addition, children under five are particularly susceptible to malaria illness, infection and death. In 2015, malaria killed an estimated 306,000 under-fives globally, including 292,000 children in the African region. Moreover, pregnant women, young children (who have yet to develop an immunity to malaria), older people, and people living with HIV are especially vulnerable to malaria as co-infections rates between malaria and HIV are very high.
Is it possible to reduce malaria deaths to zero? The answer is “yes, we can eradicate loss of life due to malaria as it is both preventable and curable. Malaria has been eradicated in the US and it is possible to eradicate it worldwide.
Need for Nets
In the community of Matero, the need for nets is huge due to water logging and poor drainage in several areas. In addition, residents cannot afford to purchase nets due to high unemployment rates and low incomes. There is a need for several thousand nets to keep the community malaria free and healthy.
Impact of Malaria Prevention Activities in 2016
Over the last six years, we have been able to provide 10,800 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to families in Zambia. These nets were used by an estimated 43,200 children (as each net can sleep up to four young children) or 21,600 adults (as each net can sleep two adults). At our most recent malaria prevention day in July 2016, we could provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education to families vulnerable to malaria.
A follow-up study to assess the effectiveness of our malaria prevention program was conducted in November 2016. We interviewed 275 women and 96 older children regarding the use of nets and knowledge about malaria prevention Goals of this study were to assess:
- if the nets are being used every night,
- if the nets were maintained and stored as demonstrated during the malaria prevention day activities,
- if the beneficiaries had knowledge about re-treatment of nets, and
- if there was a decline in the incidence of malaria.
Results of the study:. Based on these conversations, we discovered that:
- Nets are used every night during malaria season. This is important as per the World Health Organization, sleeping under a mosquito net is one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to prevent malaria.
- Most beneficiaries have better knowledge about proper storage and maintenance of nets.
- Most beneficiaries have knowledge regarding re-treatment of nets and that this service is available free of cost by Government agencies.
- Each net was being used to sleep at least 2-3 children or two adults.
- Most women had better knowledge about malaria prevention and symptoms of malaria.
- Most nets were in good condition (not torn).
- There is a reduced incidence of malaria in the community.
- There are fewer missed days from school because of better health of the children.
Home visits: Families in our pediatric HIV care program are visited every week by community health workers to check on the health of the child. During this home visit, the community health worker provides ongoing education in malaria prevention and answers any questions regarding the proper use, re-treatment and storage of nets. As a result, there were no cases of malaria among children in our pediatric HIV care program and their overall health was better.
Profile of Beneficiaries: Beneficiaries of our malaria prevention program are families in enrolled in Power of Love’s paediatric HIV care, microloans, and Safe Park programs and members of the community who are vulnerable to malaria. Most beneficiaries are 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.
Next Distribution of Nets: For 2017, our goal is to provide at least 4000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on malaria prevention to families vulnerable to malaria.
To sum, we are confident that as more families sleep under a net and take measures to prevent malaria, the incidence of malaria will continue to decline.
Thanks for your caring and dedication to prevent malaria in Zambia. We could not have achieved our goals without your help.