The RMP Uganda board visited one of the capital’s most malarial urban zones (Mulimira) on the 25th of February. The Rotary community mobilizer took Malaria Partners InternationalU representatives on a site visit through the slum, later congregating community members for a malaria sensitization dialogue. The Chairmen for UCB and Mulimira Zones, as well as the area Chairman of Security were in attendance to show their support for the fight against malaria.
Having already been beneficiaries of Rotary’s Health interventions like free safe male circumcision and free immunization of children (still ongoing once a month), the visit was a fact-finding mission on possible interventions specific to malaria elimination. The major challenge in the area is stagnant water that acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This is caused by poor drainage as a result of poor garbage disposal habits such as throwing garbage like bottles into water channels, and congested housing and pit latrines constructed with no water drainage system. The situation is more dire in the rainy season when the few channels are flooded. In addition, there was misuse of mosquito nets for fencing off small gardens.
The visiting Board team gave the community members a background on Malaria Partners InternationalU, explaining their mandate to eliminate malaria in Uganda. This also included a brief on Rotary, specifically their work towards Polio elimination worldwide. Mr. Kaddu, Chairman of UCB Zone, pointed out that their area was densely populated with a lot of night workers. This particularly gave them great exposure to mosquito bites. He hoped that Malaria Partners InternationalU distributed mosquito repellent creams. He in turn encouraged Malaria Partners InternationalU on their sensitization campaign.
The Malaria Partners InternationalU team advised attendees on malaria prevention, in line with the Ministry of Health’s Chase Malaria program:
- Sleep under insecticide treated bed nets to avoid mosquito bites.
- Do not self-diagnose and treat once you see symptoms. This is harmful to your health. Get a professional diagnosis from the health center.
- Complete your dosage as prescribed by the Medical practitioner, even though you feel better before it is completed.
- Pregnant mothers must take their malaria medication to safeguard the life of their unborn child.
- Be receptive to Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaigns whenever called upon
In a bid to foster ownership, the community members were asked to list what they thought were the major causes of a high incidence of Malaria in the slum and propose solutions. They were also tasked with highlighting the major cause for which they would like an immediate intervention. The community highlighted poor drainage due to garbage disposal into water channels as the major cause of the high malaria incidence in their area, and requested interventions to address the problem.
Malaria Partners InternationalU made the following commitments and recommendations:
- Distribute a bale of bed nets amongst those that attended the community dialogue.
- Design a malaria sensitization campaign that can be disseminated though pamphlets, posters and other means for greater awareness on the danger of malaria.
- Rotary Club of Bukoto will conduct a detailed needs assessment, and write a proposal for a small grant from Malaria Partners InternationalU to address the needs