As LWR’s Regional Communications Officer for East Africa, Brenda Kimaro meets many of the pastors, evangelists, Sunday school teachers and volunteers who are working together to protect their families and communities from malaria. Here is one of their stories.
“I want to be one of those people who are helping to end the problem of malaria,” Eunice Okoth told me when I asked her why she volunteered in her parish with the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI). I was immediately drawn to her bright smile and obvious enthusiasm for her work. Eunice and several other members of her parish volunteer to travel house-to-house in the community to educate families about malaria prevention and proper bed net use.
I talked with Eunice as we walked down dirt paths and through corn fields and pastures. Three elderly people were designated to receive bed nets from an LMI-funded distribution, but were not able to attend the distribution event because of their age and disabilities.
Eunice’s days are full. She works as a school teacher in the local public school. But once school is dismissed in the afternoon, she makes home visits on her way to her grandmother’s house, where her children stay during the day.
Eunice is extremely committed to her community. She teaches as a volunteer, because there are currently no paid positions available at the school. Being part of the parish malaria team fits Eunice’s call to service perfectly. “I love it, I really love it!” she said of her volunteer work educating people about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of malaria.
$1 you can help a child with malaria receive medicine. By receiving medicine once symptoms arise, malaria is treatable.
$10 you can help provide one family with an insecticide-treated bed net and the proper education on its use. A bed net can reduce malaria transmission by as much as 90 percent.
$50 you can underwrite the cost of malaria prevention messages to raise awareness on a local radio station. Many people know little about malaria, including how it’s contracted and its symptoms.
$100 you can help train healthcare workers to diagnose and treat malaria. Training medical workers is crucial to successful malaria education and treatment.
$1,000 or more you can help provide microscopes and other medical equipment to rural health clinics. Laboratory equipment helps to specially diagnose malaria.