Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

HASENA’S EXPERIENCE OF MALARIA IN ETHIOPIA

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

“My twin daughters died when they were only two years old. I didn’t know what was wrong with them, they were both very ill and I was weak with a fever,” says Hasena, a member of the nomadic Afar people of southeast Ethiopia. 

“I carried them for two days to the nearest health centre, walking as fast as I could. It was hot and dry and my babies just kept getting worse. When I was a few hours away from the health centre they both stopped crying. When I arrived, the nurse told me that it was too late to treat their malaria.”

Hasena lives in Kodae village in the remote desert region of Afar, 40 miles from the nearest health centre. There is no electricity, no health centre or school, and the only water available is the nearby Awash River. Sadly, her story is not uncommon.

It is one of many villages in Afar that benefited from the distribution of 90,000 mosquito nets by AMREF.

 AMREF delivered as many as we could by vehicle and then used convoys of donkeys to reach the most remote communities. When the nets arrived in Kodae, trained village health workers delivered the nets to people’s doors, explaining their importance and how they should be used.

Hasena was one of the many women who received two mosquito nets. She explains: “Now that I have the nets I am going to use one inside the house for my husband, myself and the two youngest children and the rest will sleep under the other net outside. If I stick with this routine I am confident that none of my children will get malaria again.”

AMREF also trained 300 village health workers to diagnose and treat malaria and pass this knowledge on to community members.

“Now, we are far more hopeful about the future,” says Hasena. “Armed with our mosquito nets and our knowledge, we hope that we can stop our children dying from this horrible disease.”

To find out more about AMREF and the work they do visit their website – www.amrefuk.org.

Malaria in Uganda

Monday, August 8th, 2011

 

Commonwealth Ranking: 2
World Ranking: 6
Population: 32.7 million
Life expectancy: 53 years
Reported malaria cases per year: 12.7 million
Notified cases per 100,000: 36, 233
Deaths of under 5s caused by malaria per year: 70-100,000
Households owning at least one net: 16%
Under 5s sleeping under nets: 10%

 

Did you know?

In Uganda, Malaria is the main cause of infant mortality and kills 350 children every day.

Footballers vs. Malaria

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Joseph Yobo is a Nigerian footballer who plays for Fenerbahce S.K., Everton and Nigeria’s national team.

Stephane M’Bia is a Cameroonian footballer who plays for the French club Olympique Marseille.

What do you think of these videos?
How do you think role models can encourage young people to use mosquito nets?
What is being done about the fight against malaria in your country?
Why doesn’t everyone at risk use a mosquito net?

Leave us a comment to share your thoughts!

Malaria in Nigeria

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Commonwealth Ranking:  1
World Ranking:  6
Population size:  154 million
Life expectancy:  46.5 years
Reported malaria cases per year:  Approx 3 million
Notified cases per 100,000 people:  38,259
Deaths of under 5s caused by malaria per year:  250,000
Households owning at least one net:  8%
Under 5s sleeping under nets:  6%
Under 5s with fever receiving anti-malarial drugs:  33%

Nigeria is the worst Commonwealth country for malaria, according to instances of the disease every year. The West African nation has a population of over 150 million, and a life expectancy of just 46.5 years. Malaria is one of the biggest causes of death, particularly amongst children, and accounts for over 60% of visits to clinics and hospitals.

The fight against malaria is expensive. Malaria prevention and treatment costs the developing nation 132 billion Naira (£500 million) every year. However, just 8% of households currently own a mosquito net. The government has been working with the World Bank, World Health Organisation, UNDP and UNICEF on a campaign to “Roll Back Malaria”. Today, Nigeria is working hard to create an effective strategy to control malaria, but the country is still a long way from defeating the disease.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Nigerian table tennis player Ekundayo Nasiru had to pull out of the men’s singles competition when he fell ill with malaria. More than 1,000 cases of malaria, including three deaths, were reported in the Indian capital over the summer. However, Nasiru could have contracted the disease in his home country where over 3 million cases are diagnosed every year. Left with just four fit players, Nigeria’s men’s team was unable to defend their title from the 2006 Melbourne Games where they won gold.

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3

Malaria Fact 02

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Annual economic loss in Africa due to malaria is estimated to be £8 billion (US$13 billion).

Mary Suffers from Malaria in Kenya

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

A photo of Mary poorly with malaria in Kenya

Mary Greer is from the UK and works at the RCS coordinating international youth projects, including Me and My Net.  She tells us about her experience of getting malaria last year.

It happened to me on a safari in the Maasai Mara in Kenya. I first suspected something was up when I spent a whole night in our camp imagining someone was crouched outside our tent slowly unzipping the entrance. Having spent the evening with my teeth chattering, I was suddenly burning up. In the morning I felt much better, but when I joined my friends for breakfast, it turns out I certainly wasn’t looking any better: ‘What’s wrong with your face?’. It was red and swollen from the fever that was raging as my body tried to fight off the parasites in my blood. Our guide seemed unconcerned, ‘Oh sorry, but you will be fine, I have had it many times’.

At first my friend refused to read aloud the section on malaria in our guidebook. I had all the symptoms. Luckily a doctor was stationed at one of the upmarket lodges inside the park. On our way into the interior I sat huddled in a corner of the van, covering my head from the sun as my companions ‘oooohed’ and ‘aaaaahed’ at the wildlife surrounding us. One small prick of my finger revealed I did indeed have malaria, but ‘only moderate’. ONLY?! I had been living in Rwanda for 6 months, during which time I had taken my anti-malarial tablet every day, without fail. Had I not done this, said the Doctor, I may well have been in far more danger than I was. I was given a very painful injection and a cocktail of drugs, and luckily I had just a few days before returning to the UK.

On the flight home, crunched up in a ball and longing for my bed, I tried to pinpoint which mosquito got me. Was it at the hostel in Nairobi where the window had been left open at dusk and mosquitoes had filled my room, or in a Ugandan village where the home I was staying in had just one net, and this was full of holes. It’s hard to tell. But what I do know is I feel lucky to have had access to the medication I needed.

What do you think of Mary’s story?  Have you also suffered from malaria?  What was it like?  Please do share your thoughts with us by commenting on this post, or (if you are under 18) by entering our competition.