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.
Yuniah Nyamumbo is a sweet, young mother of two boys, age three years and four months. Last August she volunteered as the team leader for the co-implementation team of the Matongo Lutheran Parish. These 40 community and parish volunteers travel from home to home to educate people about the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of malaria.
I met Yuniah when I visited her parish during a bed net distribution made possible by the Lutheran Malaria Initiative.
“We want to do away with malaria,” Yuniah told me. “Our community was very happy to get the knowledge about the use of bed nets. Many people received nets [through a previous government distribution] but they just brought them home and put them away.” Yuniah’s entire family sleeps under bed nets every night.
Yuniah’s volunteer work is gratifying, but not always easy. Homes that she visits are spread out and during the rainy season it can be challenging to navigate the muddy paths between them. “Some days if it is raining I have to give up until another day,” she told me, as we were navigated a slippery path between house visits.
$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.