Investing in behavior change to fight malaria

Different investments including behavior change are contributing to roll back malaria in Mozambique and health authorities report 26 per cent drop of deaths caused by malaria in 2015 compared to 2014.

This tendency is possible thanks to intensification of actions against the disease among them distribution of mosquito nets nationwide and indoor residual spraying to keep mosquitos that cause the disease away.

World Vision Mozambique is leading a consortium responsible for distribution of mosquito nets in different parts of the country including Nampula, Zambezia, Tete provinces where it has traditional operations.

In Gaza province the organization is implementing activities to fight malaria directly and instead of distributing mosquito nets it is dedicating its efforts in behavior change through sensitization campaigns, plays, door-to-door campaigns, among other means.

During the celebration of April 25, world malaria day the organization in Gaza province visited a primary school where it demonstrated the importance of using mosquito nets when sleeping and also to keep the house environment clean enough to scare any mosquito from staying around the house.

Children around 8 to 15 years old participated in plays that demonstrated how deadly the disease can be if not treated and they were also urged to report any misuse of mosquito net other than protection.

“Behavior change is a process it doesn’t happen overnight and we are very much aware of that, unfortunately there are aspects such as poverty that interfere in resistance to behavior change, however slowly we can see some changes in people when it comes malaria” said Elsa Chambisse from the malaria project capacitator.

As part of its behavior change strategy WV-Moz through its Malaria project has an agreement with provincial education authorities so that schools can dedicate 5 minutes of their classes to talk around malaria on prevention and treatment.

“Children are our hope in eradicating malaria we believe that working with them we will have adults that compose a society that already has a positive behavior against malaria, and other preventable diseases” added Chambisse.

In the communities WV-Moz is also disseminating zero costs mechanisms that prevent to the community members most of them with limited resources, the mechanisms include burning of local tree leaves.