A Small Grant With A Large Impact: The Busime Malaria Project
Article by Cynthia E. Pacutho, Program Coordinator, Malaria Partners Uganda
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 1500 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.” MPU donated 2 megaphones to the project.
The project’s 28 VHTs conduct household to household Malaria testing, treating, sensitization and net distribution in 10 villages of Bwaniha parish, Busime Subcounty. Mr. Simon Bogere, Clinical In-charge Busime HCII, greatly appreciated the project’s capacity building of VHTs that has equipped them with data collection tools; “improved data collection has led to increased OPD coverage, lowering the demand for Health Centre services, which reduces the OPD burden at the Health Centre,” he said. VHTs deliver their reports to the Health Centre (HC) every Monday before midday.
The event was graced by local council (LC) officials; Busiime sub-county LCIII Mr. Makoha Godfrey acknowledged the marked reduction in child mortality in the 10 villages of Bwaniha parish. He also appreciated the increased involvement of men, who now willing test for Malaria and receive treatment at home. “VHT sensitization is the best change story; it has improved medical uptake and voluntary test and treatment,” Malowa Charles Kudedi, Busia district Councilor/Speaker said.
“The project trained us on testing with mRDTs and treating with Coertem and Paracetamol. I am a more confident person now with this knowledge… At the start, I had 160 cases of Malaria among children. Currently, from 40 cases per week, I now register less than 10 per week. I have also sensitized villagers on mosquito repellent plants, and seen more acceptance of knowledge on Malaria prevention and control.” Ouma Naphtali, VHT Bubamba Village B.
At the start of the project four months ago, my household of 9 adults and 5 children were sharing 3 nets, with 1 adult and 3 children sick of Malaria. Following treatment from our VHT and proper use of the nets we received, we have not had another Malaria episode to date. Slashing bushes and draining all stagnant water, we now have fewer mosquitos in our compound. Masiga Caroline, Bulosi village.
The event started ta Busime HCII, a meeting with project VHTs. MPU closed the event with net distribution, while VHTs tested and treated community members for Malaria.
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