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Wet conditions are the ideal breeding ground for malaria carrying mosquitoes
Wet conditions are the ideal breeding ground for malaria carrying mosquitoes
A kayaye, head porter in the market, in Ghana, West Africa
Amina cares for the most vulnerable children in Agbogbloshie, Ghana
Volunteers on the Malaria Prevention Programme delivering a malaria education workshop
The malaria education workshop in Agbogbloshie, Ghana, was well attended

Update on the PWA Malaria Prevention Programme

Date Posted: 28/06/2016

Read an update on Partner West Africa's Malaria Prevention Programme and what we're doing next.

Here is an update on Partner West Africa's (PWA) Malaria Prevention Programme. Regular readers of our articles will know that since January 2016, we have been working with our volunteering department, Volunteer West Africa (VWA) on a programme to help the families we support in Ghana to understand and so prevent malaria in their communities. This programme of activities started with education workshops with the parents of some of the youngest and most vulnerable children who attend the nursery and daycare centre we fund in Oshieye. The children, who had been learning about malaria in our nursery school, took part and this early phase of the work showed us just how many myths there were in the community about malaria and its causes, as well as demonstrating how willing the people were to learn and to take appropriate action.

The work has continued both in this community with more workshops and has been extended to families in Agbogbloshie-one of the world’s biggest and most toxic waste disposal sites which provides a home to 40,000 people. We have run articles about Agbogbloshie previously. Malaria can flourish there because of the stagnant and polluted water and insanitary conditions that people may live in.

We work in Agbogbloshie regularly with a marvellous lady called Amina who takes in every day 30+ children so their mothers can earn the money to feed them. Many of these mothers work as porters, carrying heavily laden baskets of goods to and from the markets that border the waste site. The market provides a living which is one of the reasons so many people live in that area. These porters are popularly known as “Kayaye”. It is estimated that 7,787 kayaye’s between the ages of 10 – 35 years live in the area-part of Ghana’s capital city, Accra. Most of the kayayes are migrants from the northern part of Ghana and its bordering countries, driven south as a result of conflict and poverty.

Amina has only one room to accommodate all the children so it is hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. In the rainy seasons, particularly, water gets everywhere and so do the mosquitos. These children are very vulnerable. 21% of children lose their lives to malaria before they reach their 5th birthday.

In April, a group of Volunteer West Africa volunteers ran workshops for the mothers of the children in Agbogbloshie. Brooke French, a paediactric nurse from USA who is working as a volunteer in Ghana for a year explained about the causes of malaria and the steps that can be taken to help prevent it. Her words were translated by Inusah Amidu, PWA Project Manager as most of the mothers spoke no English as they had never been to school to learn it. Their children were entertained by 3 other volunteers so mothers could give the event their full attention. Over 50 people attended the first of these workshops. More are planned.

The important next phase of the project is 2-fold. Firstly, the workshops will continue so we can reach more people. Secondly, we will be distributing repellents (of various kinds) to families and also mosquito nets. All this will be monitored and evaluated. There are more volunteers joining the team this summer so we can make great progress with this programme.

We do need your help. Funding always an issue so we have set up an appeal on Justgiving for this. Click here for the link.

If you think you have the skills to volunteer in Ghana to help with this important work, please have a look at our website for more details of opportunities.

Everything you can do to help counts and will contribute to reducing the number of children and adults who suffer (and die) from this preventable disease.

Author: Partner West Africa

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