Mobilising communities in the fight against Malaria

Combating malaria remains a priority health objective in Senegal. In this regard, World Vision Senegal is one of the first NGOs in the country to organize community-based distribution of Long Lasting Impregnated Nets (LLINs). World Vision focuses on raising awareness and educating families, communities, and mothers on the prevention and community-based management of malaria. It is also committed to train community health volunteers and to organize social mobilization sessions on good hygiene and sanitation practices in their daily lives and living environment.

On the occasion of the World Day to combat malaria, World Vision held a series of activities in Niakhar designed to "put an end to malaria." Several dignatories were in attendance; the deputy governor of the region of Fatick Mr. Maguette Diouck, the representative of the Minister of Health and Social Welfare Mr. Farba Lamine Sall, the chief medical officer of the medical region of. Fatick- Dr Mouhamadou Touré, the head doctor of the health district of Niakhar Dr. Fatimata Marie Konaté, the chief medical officer of Dioffior Dr. Mama Moussa Diaw and the mayor of the town of Niakhar Mr. Macodou Sene.

An action-packed day

The community gathered at the Women’s Technical Training Centre (CETF) of Niakhar to participate in awareness-generating sessions organized around the causes and prevention of malaria. The day’s events allowed the full participation of children through an exhibition of drawings illustrating the theme of the day and through a reading marathon involving students of the (CODECs) of Niakhar, Mbella and Tattaguine.

During the reading “marathon”, students read texts on malaria highlighting the causes of the disease and the means of action within the reach of everyone to protect him or herself. This marathon competition was won by students of the CODEC of Tattaguine, followed closely by those of Mbella  and Niakhar.

The women of Niakhar also participated by staging and performing a skit on malaria, to illustrate their understanding of the causes and means of prevention against this endemic disease.

World Vision Central Zone leading the Advocacy discussion

Marie Louise Diouf, head of World Vision’s Central Zone, highlighted the achievements of World Vision in combating malaria with these words: "For several years World Vision has participated in partnership with you, by building health and education infrastructure and by supporting the strengthening of capabilities of parents, teachers and local authority.

As part of the fight against malaria, World Vision supported the supply of over 15,000 mosquito nets in recent years and facilitated setting up hygiene committees in the municipality of Niakhar. We believe that curing, relieving and, healing are the responsibilities of the health workers, but prevention is a civic duty of all community members. Preventive skills are acquired through learning, education and training.

She added, "Ladies and gentlemen, you will agree that it is unacceptable to lose one child due to malaria which is a preventable disease, let alone witness the disastrous loss of eight children in the space of six months. Yet this is exactly what our sponsorship management system reveals, between October 2015 and March 2016. This cannot continue. We must act now and continue to act to put a definite end to malaria, so that no child will ever again die of this disease. "

Government endorsing the combined efforts of State and World Vision Senegal

The representative and director of the office of the Minister of Health Mr. Farba Lamine Sall recalled the efforts made by the State of Senegal through awareness campaigns, the distribution of LLINs, and quick access to the Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). This test makes it possible to detect the disease early and thus allows timely management from the first symptoms of the patient. Sall also praised the excellent work of World Vision in the health sector particularly in the fight against malaria.

Full community mobilization

The populations of the locality of Niakhar massively participated in the event, including the representative of the "Badiènou Goox" Niakhar Ms. Sanou Faye, who reaffirmed the commitment of the latter alongside World Vision and its partners' in the crusade to eradicate malaria "by 2021.

The representative of the Children's Parliament of Niakhar Miss Ndeye Rokhaya Sene, was also present and thanked the Government of Senegal. She recalled the achievements of the State and World Vision in the field of prevention and especially emphasized the quality of training that World Vision Senegal has given to 27 local children about personal and collective hygiene. She urged her peers to be the flag bearers of this struggle by raising as much awareness as possible amongst their peers and their families.

Finally, the mayor of the municipality of Niakhar Mr. Macodou Sene, reaffirmed the commitment of the municipality in supporting everyone involved in this daily struggle.

World Vision has been working for 30 years in Senegal to improve the well-being of children, especially the most vulnerable, and maintains a daily commitment to the fight against malaria and to protect children from this scourge.

 Photos : Delphine Rouiller