World Malaria Day: Treated Bed Nets Prevent Malaria in Kuria Kenya

More than half the world’s population is at risk of malaria. The disease disproportionately affects the extreme poor and places an immense burden on healthcare systems in developing countries.

Nuru is fighting back against malaria with an innovative approach.

‘About 3.3 billion people – half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria. Every year, this leads to about 250 million malaria cases and nearly one million deaths.’ WHO

 

Nuru International promotes the prevention of malaria through a commodity sales-based program lead by community health workers. The Nuru International Healthcare Program, focuses primarily on the prevention of malaria concentrating on those most at risk: pregnant mothers and children. We help to equip Nuru Community Health Workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to educate communities in malaria prevention methods with the specific use of insecticide treated bed nets.

The Nuru Malaria Trifecta

“Our 3 pronged approach involves education through behavior change communication to ensure community members understand malaria and find value in preventative measures, CHWs increase access to affordable treated bed nets during home visits. They then look for danger signs that malaria already exists and use our referral system to ensure treatment is swift and effective at the local clinic.” Said Lindsay Cope, Nuru International Healthcare Program Manager

Why does Nuru International Concentrate on Malaria Prevention?

‘Malaria is preventable and treatable.’

UNICEF

The use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets has become a leading strategy in malaria prevention and control. Studies show dramatic reductions in the number of cases of malaria in communities using insecticide treated mosquito nets. Regular use of treated nets reduces child mortality by about 25%. Children sleeping under treated mosquito nets are less prone to anemia, malnutrition and severe malaria.In communities where a substantial proportion of people are using treated bed nets, fewer people are bitten due to a reduced mosquito population and this provides some community protection.

How do Nuru Community Health Workers Promote the use of Bed Nets?

‘Insecticide-treated bed nets have been proven highly effective in preventing malaria, reducing maternal anemia, and infant mortality, both directly for users and indirectly for non-users in their vicinity. Despite their proven impact, less than half of Kenyans sleep under a bed net.’

Innovations for Poverty Action

Nuru is working to reduce the spread of malaria by promoting the proper use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, early diagnosis and prompt treatment for suspected malaria cases. The Nuru Community Health Workers (CHWs), help to increase the understanding of malaria and then promote the use of bed nets reducing the number of infant deaths within the Kurian community. The CHWs are equipped with an understanding of the diagnosis of malaria and refer patients to the nearby clinic where they can receive the appropriate treatment. Nuru sees the Community Health Worker model as the key to bridging the gap that exists in the prevention of malaria for the extreme poor in Kuria, Kenya.

“Nuru believe that when community members purchase bed nets they place a value on them that means they are more likely to use them according to the education provided by CHWs during the sale.” Said Lindsay Cope.

Why Specifically Target Mothers and Children under 5?

‘About half the world’s population are at risk of malaria and more than 2,300 people die from the disease every day. In Africa, a child dies from malaria every 45 seconds’.

Department for International Development UKAID

While everyone is at risk of contracting malaria in an endemic area, pregnant women and children under 5 are among the most vulnerable.

“In malaria endemic areas maternal death may result either directly from severe malaria or indirectly from malaria-related severe anemia. In addition, malaria infection of the mother may result in a range of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including spontaneous abortion, neonatal death, and low birth weight.” Said Lindsay Cope, Nuru International Healthcare Program Manager

Five Reasons to Join Nuru International in Eradicating Malaria.

  1. 863,000 people die from malaria each year, that’s more than 2300 people every day.
  2. Malaria accounts for an estimated 8% of global deaths in children under five years with the figure rising to 16% in Africa.
  3. Even if a child survives malaria, it can have long terms impacts on children’s growth, mental development and educational outcomes as they grow older.
  4. Malaria can reduce economic growth by up to 1.3% for countries with the highest burden.
  5. Thirty-five countries are responsible for 98% of the total malaria deaths worldwide.

 

About Laura Changala

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