This World Malaria Day, April 25, see how we’re joining with our partners and communities to end malaria for good!
Together, we’re one step closer to ensuring that no child dies from malaria.
On World Malaria Day, I’m reminded of a day last summer when I attended an auspicious graduation ceremony in my home country of Malawi, in the northern district of Mzimba. A total of 70 health surveillance assistants (community health workers) were graduating as the first group to successfully complete 12 weeks of training on new national guidelines for malaria control and elimination and on Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM). It was a historic day that would not have been possible without the financial support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Stanley Billie, one of the new graduates, stands out in my memory because he could not contain his excitement! He started working as a community health worker in 2007 with simply his Malawi School Certificate of Education. The knowledge and skills he gained, he did by observing experienced colleagues, asking questions of other health workers, and engaging in trial and error. It was a heart-wrenching experience — he had no shortage of passion, but it hurt him to know that there was more he could do to help his community in health service delivery if only he had the necessary expertise.
Stanley searched for formal learning opportunities in vain, until finding World Vision’s Global Fund project. With its offered training, not only was he well equipped with the requisite skills he needed to carry out his duties as a community health worker, but he was also able to develop problem-solving and communication skills as well as resilience and patience.
Stanley was among the first 210 community health workers to be trained across the three Primary Health Care Centers of Mzimba, Mponela, and Mwanza. He learned to successfully diagnose malaria, effectively treat it, and proficiently provide awareness on prevention. After nine long years of helplessly watching the persistent scourge of malaria, Stanley was finally well-equipped to help his clients prevent and treat malaria!
Since World Vision’s Global Fund project in Malawi started in January 2016, close to 5,000 workers like Stanley have been trained or refreshed on new national malaria guidelines plus iCCM. Malawi’s National Malaria Control Program has confirmed that following this development, there are now over 5,000 functional village clinics in hard-to-reach areas, which reduces the distance families must travel to seek treatment, thereby contributing to positive health-seeking behavior in these rural communities.
In 2016, the National Malaria Control Program reported that there has been an increase in the proportion of confirmed malaria cases, an increased uptake in preventive treatments, and a decrease in the number of malaria cases per 1,000 people.
The Global Fund investments in Malawi have significantly contributed to the scaling up of key interventions in malaria control and its eventual elimination. The National Malaria Control Program has maximized collaboration and coordination with several partners in responding to unexpected challenges and emergency situations. To enhance the efforts of the Malawi government, Global Fund, and partners, World Vision has worked hard toward filling the training gap and achieving impact.
Together, we are a step closer to ensuring that no child dies from malaria.
Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases to strike children around the world. Fortunately, effective and inexpensive tools are available to prevent malaria and protect children. Your gift today will help prevent malaria across Africa — including in Malawi. Give today!