By Chelsea Montes De Oca
Advocacy and Communications Officer, MACEPA, and Global Health Corps Fellow
PATH joined the Ministry of Health in Mongu this week to commemorate Southern African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Day. SADC Day takes place in November each year to spread awareness of malaria and mobilize communities toward elimination. The National Malaria Elimination Centre (NMEC) hosted activities all week including a provincial orientation for traditional leaders, an indoor residual spraying (IRS) campaign launch, school debates, and on-site malaria testing and treating. In addition to remarks from distinguished speakers, an awards ceremony honored the top school debaters in Mongu and high-performing community health workers (CHWs) in Western Province.
Emmanual Phiri, chief environmental health officer for Western Province, addresses Western Province traditional leaders—senior chiefs and indunas—on the state of malaria in Zambia. The provincial health director, provincial permanent secretary, and national and local media were also in attendance.
Spray operators demonstrate indoor residual spraying technique on a house in Katongo community, Mongu District.
Susiku Kamona, guest of honour and district commissioner for Mongu, addresses the crowd about the importance of malaria elimination in Mongu and all of the SADC region.
PATH facilitated the recognition of three outstanding CHWs in Western Province. Each of these CHWs were awarded based on improved health outcomes and performance in their communities.
Updates from Senegal and Zambia
MACEPA, in partnership with CHWs in Senegal, organized a movie screening of PATH’s production of Le Champion de Bonaba for community members in Kanel District. Produced in 2016, the movie aims to showcase community engagement activities in the fight against malaria. After the screening, staff conducted a quiz to test attendees’ malaria knowledge. Community members were also awarded t-shirts and mosquito nets for their participation.
MACEPA Senegal also organized community engagement activities in Linguère this week. Young CHWs were trained on networking and how to strengthen relationships in their communities using the movie.
CHAZ and NMEC turned their attention to the Copperbelt in Zambia this week for integrated community case management (iCCM) training in Ndola. This training is part of a larger effort to increase the arsenal of iCCM trainers in Zambia. In the picture above, Levison Ziwa from the USAID Global Supply Chain Program is addressing training-of-trainers participants about adult learning teaching methodologies.
Mass drug administration and indoor residual spraying community engagement began this week in Sesheke District in the Western Province of Zambia. Local Chief Imbwae of Mutunda Village and members of the community were eager to hear about Zambia plans to eliminate malaria by 2021.
Coming soon: A breathalyzer to detect malaria?
Imagine if you could diagnose malaria from someone’s breath. A research team at Washington University School of Medicine may have found a way to do it. After four years, the research team was able to pinpoint six biomarkers from a patient’s breath that show they had malaria. While more research needs to be done before this tool is ready for widespread use, this discovery could pave the way for an affordable and accessible way to diagnose malaria. Click here to read more.