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.
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