Mavemap Small Grant Project Update
By Esther Winnie Kuloba, Chairperson Malaria Project Committee, Rotary Club Mbale Metropolitan
Rotary Club of Mbale Metropolitan, in collaboration with Development Initiatives International (DII), celebrates the successful completion of the 8months MPI funded Market Vendors Malaria Project (MAVEMAP) among vendors in three markets of Mbale City; Mbale Central Market, Bugwere Road Market and Kikundu market from November 2020 to June 2021.
A baseline survey ascertained that the nature and demands of their trade necessitated many vendors spending up to 15 hours daily in the market. This was exacerbated by the Covid19 restrictions in 2020 that saw many sleeping at their stalls until lockdown was lifted. Also, due to low incomes, most Market vendors have poor health seeking habits, making their health less of a priority in favor of earning a living.
Their level of interaction favored the choice of Peer Educators as Malaria champions; a selection of 90 fellow vendors were trained strategically to effectively pass on varied Malaria prevention and garbage management information to fellow Vendors, facilitate Malaria testing and treatment, distribute Mosquito nets and branded vendor materials like aprons, books etc. These have eventually become Market Health Teams (MHTs) similar to Village Health Teams (VHTs) in communities.
I realized there is a lot to learn about malaria like the need for sleeping under a treated mosquito net, and planting mosquito repellants plants in our homes. I have learnt how to manage malaria in children under 5 years and I also share this information with my children back home as well as my neighbors. Madanda, MHT
MHTs continue to utilize Megaphones and the Vendors’ Voice (a market based radio) to disseminate Malaria management messages thus increasing awareness about the scourge. RC Mbale Metropolitan is looking to expand this effective mechanism of Malaria sensitization to other markets in the region.
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.”