Team Member: Jimmy James
EVENT DATE Nov 30, 2016
Kelly Behrens wrote -
The Kennedy Lugar youth and exchange study alumni in Taraba state will collaborate with the IMANI GLOBAL HEALTH AND EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVES to mobilize a medical team to conduct a rapid diagnostic test for malaria and prescribe malaria drugs for malaria positive children and adults in six villages in Taraba state Nigeria. The team will be treating three thousand malaria cases using Para checks for blood samples and Arthemether+Lumefantrine tablets, a guaranteed malaria treatment. Treatment will start from age one and above along sideline an awareness campaign and also a distribution of mosquito treated nets for each malaria case in these villages where children mortality rate has been in the increase due to malaria. This project will also involve an environmental sanitation and sensitization campaign in the villages to show the practical aspect of avoiding mosquitoes and their breeding areas. The project is composed of four overarching objectives:
• To treat 3000 malaria cases in six villages among children under the age of five and pregnant women in Ardo kola local government are of Taraba state, Nigeria.
• To encourage the use of mosquito nets among children under the age of five and pregnant women in Ardo kola local government are of Taraba state, Nigeria.
• To create awareness and provide malaria education in the intervention villages in Ardo kola local government are of Taraba state, Nigeria.
• To determine the incidence/prevalence of malaria cases in the intervention villages.
Malaria is a disease transmitted through the bite of an anopheles mosquito that carries the predominant malaria specie plasmodium falciparum, and usually found in tropical and subtropical climates. Once bitten by the carrier, plasmodium falciparum will be released to the body and travel to the liver to mature. After several days, mature parasites enter the bloodstream and infect the red blood cells. Within forty-eight to seventy-two hours, the parasite in the red blood cells multiply causing the infected cells to burst open which result in symptoms that occur in cycles that last two to three days at a time.
The world health organization recorded that in 2015, two hundred and fourteen million cases of malaria occurred, and four hundred and thirty-eight people died in Africa, most of them children.
With over three hundred thousand deaths occurring annually, Nigeria currently holds the largest share of the world’s burden of malaria; mortality rates are especially high among pregnant women and infants under five years of age, and those of low socio-economic status. The IMANI GLOBAL HEALTH AND EMPOWERMENT, during its normal day-to-day outreach treated about one thousand two hundred and fifty children in two local government areas in Taraba state. 81% of the children were tested positive with the predominant malaria specie plasmodium falciparum, the alumni with the help of the Imani NGO will be targeting mostly children below the age of five who have not likely built up a significant immunity to the most virulent forms of malaria and pregnant women who could transfer congenital malaria to their children at birth. Our current health care system is over taxed and insufficient. Access to hospitals and clinics for malaria treatment is difficult and nearly impossible to utilize by those who need it most, and those that do seek formal treatment will have to travel hours to see overworked health care providers. If children are suffering from malaria they cannot receive education and will suffer physical and cognitive developmental delays, which in return, they retard the development of the country.