Posts Tagged ‘AMREF’

Spotlight on AMREF

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

AMREF

AMREF is Africa’s leading health charity, whose vision is lasting health change in Africa. They were founded in 1957 as the Flying Doctors Service of East Africa. They work across Africa, with major programmes in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa, and expanding outreach into West Africa. One of AMREF’s main priorities is Malaria, and the treatment, prevention and education on malaria-related illnesses and deaths.

Snapshot on a project: Afar, Ethiopia

Afar is particularly prone to malaria, yet it only has two clinics to serve a population of 1.3 million people. Many are unaware of how to protect themselves against the disease and commonly available drugs have become less effective as people have grown resistant to them. AMREF works with the health system at all levels to:

  • Increase the use of mosquito nets by pregnant women and young children
  • Improve the quality of testing being carried out to diagnose malaria
  • Develop systems that allow people to treat malaria with effective drugs in the home
  • Educate communities about how to control the spread of malaria

Key achievements

  • 99,000 mosquito nets have been distributed to pregnant women and young children in 11 districts – 99% of households in the project area have received two nets each
  • Communities in these districts have been trained how to use their new mosquito nets and shown how they can help prevent malaria
  • AMREF has trained 300 “mother coordinators” to help families protect themselves from malaria in their own homes. The project has expanded to cover new districts, protecting more vulnerable communities from malaria. 

Have a look at the below blog post for one women’s story of AMREF helped her.

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

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.