Muheza District Tanzania Small Grant Update
By Maddie Sjolund, Social Media Manager, Malaria Partners International
In 2020, two rotaractors from the KCMC Rotaract Club, with support from Rotarians Against Malaria Global, surveyed the Muheza district in the Tanga region of Tanzania to understand their malaria situation. The rotaractors had the opportunity to meet several regional and district leaders. They met with the Muheza district executive officer and discussed several health challenges in the region, specifically in malaria in the Muheza district.
After a request to support malaria interventions in the region of Tanga was accepted, the club started training community health workers on how to identify mosquito breeding sites with help of trainers from the National Institute of Medical Research and experienced rotaractors from KCMC Rotaract Club who are medical students and practitioners.
In November 2020, a total of 39 community health workers were trained in Muheza and Pangani districts. The district health office requested more support for malaria preventive materials such as treated mosquito nets, bio larvicides, pumps, and training materials. After training more community health workers, the project objectives were to:
- Provide 1,411 mosquito nets to two hospitals, four health centers, 33 dispensaries, and 5 boarding schools in the Muheza district
- Raise awareness of environmental protection to control the spread of malaria and other diseases in Muheza
- Train 20 community members in Muheza to become community health workers, supporting community awareness and helping stop malaria
- Support decline of malaria prevalence from 3.1% in Muheza district to 1% or less by 2025 and ensure zero malaria by 2030
The Rotaract Club of KCMC requested and received financial support for this project from Malaria Partners International, RAM Global, and their own club donated funds.1411 mosquito nets were successfully delivered and distributed to the Muheza district to all facilities as requested in the project. Mosquito nets beneficiaries were very excited to receive the nets. One of the nurses who is in charge at Muheza district health hospital labor ward said, “for a long time we have been sending requests for mosquito nets to help prevent admitted mothers here but for years we have never received them, some women come here for different cases, unfortunately, some leaves with malaria. Thank you very much, we can’t let malaria kill our mothers and their children while it is preventable”.
The district medical officer and the district executive officer also expressed their cordial thanks for the support. “We always receive mosquito nets from the government but they are specific for the households only, forgetting our institutions like schools and hospitals is really a loophole for the continuation of malaria cases in our district. Many thanks to Rotary for being supportive stakeholders in our district, welcome and do not hesitate to come for us once we press more requests,” Said the District Medical Officer. Brochures and fliers on malaria were distributed to all beneficiaries at the schools. Also, short training on the proper use of mosquito nets and malaria overview was conducted to every institution by the distributors from the KCMC rotaract club.
The team also raised awareness on environmental protection as key to ending malaria in the setting. Reception of nets in schools was witnessed by teachers, students, and political leaders such as ward council representatives who also had a lot of appreciative words for the support of raising awareness of malaria. A community health worker training was conducted with 30 participants including 19 community health volunteers. Mr. Frank Magogo, a parasitologist from the National Institute of medical research, Dr. Rehema Lymo a malaria focus person at Muheza district health office and Aloyce Urassa, a health laboratory sciences student, facilitated the training focusing on the following headlines;
- Overview of malaria (history, transmission, symptoms).
- Malaria burden globally, Nationally, and at the district level.
- Malaria treatment and prevention. (National and WHO guideline)
- Malaria advocacy at the community level.
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.”