- Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria.
- Malaria is a preventable disease.
- Ten dollars buys a long lasting net that protects a child for 3-5 years.
The Health Education Day and mosquito net distribution took place in Mbita, Kenya on Friday 11th August 2006. The day was a great success, and was organized by the Akado Medical Center and attended by the largest number of orphaned and vulnerable children ever hosted before due to our expansion to 15 more schools.
We held meetings in three different zones to allow even more of the orphaned and vulnerable children to attend the event.
The Clinical Officer did the introduction of the day as Health Education Day on Malaria. He gave the orphaned pupils a chance to introduce themselves. He also gave a short explanation on the transmission of malaria by mosquitoes. He explained the reasons that the mosquito bites humans and stores their blood is because it strengthens the mosquito’s reproduction ability. He stated that when a mosquito bites a person and then the person contracts malaria it then progresses to the next person when the mosquito bites the next person thus transmitting from one person to the next person.
Health Topics Discussed
This years Health Education Day was framed as a critical intervention and the following information was provided to the pupils and their providers:
- The importance of early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria.
- The importance of correct dosage and ensuring that it is completed a second dose of SP should not be taken for at least 3 weeks.
- Importance of antipyretic and fluid treatment should be emphasized
- SP apparently has slow action on the clinical symptoms
- Fever episode may recur within 48 hours after the dose of SP; therefore, there is also the need for antipyretics to manage the fever episode.
- The children’s care providers were given clear information and the facilitator confirmed if it was understood.
This years meeting was presided over by the Public Health Officer, government officials, Professor Achola Pala and visitors from child-focused organizations. Orphans and vulnerable children attended it from 20 primary schools in the area.
The event was the most successful event ever held recently.
A Speech From Professor Pala
After health education, Professor Achola, the only woman professor in the community and the wife of the former Ambassador to the United States, gave a speech. She related her life history. She spoke about her difficulties during her schooling and the fact that she was the seventh born in a family of nine and most of her elder sisters had dropped out of school due to early marriages. In addition, villagers also discouraged her parents from educating girls. At class two, she dropped out of school and went to stay with her older sister who was a teacher at a local school in the area. She took care of her niece for three months during her stay with her sister. During this time, her sister would give her homework. After this time, she went back to school. She finished her primary education, did very well in national exams, and because of her high scores received a sponsorship for high school. She later proceeded to one of the best universities in United States where through sponsorship she completed her Ph.D. She highly encouraged the girls to concentrate on their studies.
Speech From One of the Children’s Representative
One of the orphaned girls from Kombe primary school encouraged her peers to concentrate in school and forget about leisure. She said that many orphaned girls in the villages are lured by small gifts and money, making them fall prey to exploitative-men and resulting in early pregnancies, which cause girls to drop out of high school. She also spoke about rural poverty and talked about how it is a result of HIV / AIDS.
She said that many girls resort to prostitution to get money in order to survive. She encouraged her fellow girls to concentrate in their studies to avoid ending up in these circumstances. She finally appealed to those in authority to ensure protection, promotion and enhancement of child rights as a solution to their problems.
Speech From The Public Health Officer
The Public Health officer in charge of Suba District, who is also the coordinator and the representative of Constituency Aids Control Committee (CACC) was introduced. He talked about Akado Women’s Group as a part of the Akado Medical Center, role as an active group in the area. As a representative of the Kenyan government, the government recognizes the good work done by both the Akado Medical Center and its partners.
He also confirmed that his office would continue supporting this noble cause to humankind.
Distribution Of The Nets
We distributed one hundred and twenty nets to the invited children. A mosquito net was issued to each child, while the Nyatiti music group entertained the participants with songs and instrumentals highlighting the importance of orphaned and vulnerable children’s education, protection from malaria, HIV/AIDS prevention, good parenting skills and child rights issues.
The whole group broke for a delicious lunch prepared by Akado Staff.
The net fundraising and purchasing were conducted by Stacey Blaschke and Alka Subramanian. Project Mosquito Net is a grass based project and collaboration between Power of Love and Be the Cause.