A Return To Community Ownership
By Cynthia E. Pacutho, Administrator RMPU
“If people hear that a lion is roaming around the community, they will flee and close all possible entrances to their houses from the lion. However, the number of people killed by lions in the whole world are far less than those Malaria has killed in Uganda alone. If the same fear associated with the lion is equated to Malaria, then the disease will be no more,” PDG Xavier Sentamu said in his remarks to leaders in Takajunge, Makindye, an urban Malarial site in Kampala.
On 21st May 2021, Rotarians and Rotaractors from the Rotary Club of Makindye West hosted RMPU to a meeting with religious and local council leaders and CHWs, as well as a tour of Takajunge. Focus Group discussions were held to gather information on Malaria occurrences and experiences, strategize on relevant Malaria control and prevention specific to the community and foster ownership of these strategies to advocate for Malaria elimination.
By consensus poor drainage systems, creating breeding grounds for Mosquito larvae, was the major cause of Malaria in Takajunge. The leaders also noted that there no longer was ‘community ownership’ like in the past, where citizens took personal responsibility for the sanitation and hygiene of their respective communities. Rapid urbanization in Kampala has overwhelmed the city council services, particularly in the slums, that suffer most from Malaria largely in the rainy seasons.
RMPU appreciated the strides made towards Malaria elimination and donated a megaphone to facilitate the club’s Malaria sensitization outreaches.
Community work is tough and requires a lot of sacrifices. To voluntarily serve members of your community day and night without pay is perhaps the highest form of sacrifice. But this is what community health workers have committed to do every day. Determined to eliminate the deadliest killer of infants and adults alike, our community-based volunteers are resolved and determined to play their part. In all our years of service, perhaps no one personifies sacrifice like Elias Banda. We met Elias Banda on June 4th, 2022.
From the 12th to the 14th of May, Rotary District 9214 held its 97th District Conference in Arusha. Over Six hundred participants were in attendance. Rotarians, Rotaractors, interactors and guests had a chance to discuss and vote on important District matters.
Laughter, dancing and singing was the mood in Bulosi village during the MPU/RC Busia visit to Busime Malaria Project on Saturday 28th May 2022. Funded by a small grant from MPI, RC Busia has since received 1,500 mosquito nets from Youth Environment Services and UGX 1,000,000 from Equity bank, Busia branch. According to the bank’s Credit Manager James Sekairi, “Giving to Rotary is no loss.”