Malaria kills ~584,000 people each year – the vast majority are children can kill within 24 hours of symptom onset accounts for 40% of all public health spending in Africa
Over 11 outpatients were reported in throughout 2013
During October 2015, TANF team visited both the Seven Stars School and Fidif Academy in Accra to provide health talks on Malaria to raise awareness of the disease. These talks were both led by Charity, who is a qualified nurse with the support of Faustina, our social worker. Malaria is a common disease which can be easily prevented, however due to the lack of knowledge of the symptoms; cases are still arising on a day to day basis throughout the country.
Charity explained to the children that Malaria is a feverish condition caused by a plasmodium parasite which is introduced into the blood stream by a female anopheles (most common) mosquito. She then went onto advise the classes how the female mosquito picks up the plasmodium from an infected person and then releases it onto another person through a bite.
It is important for the children to comprehend the signs and symptoms of Malaria. Charity informed the children about this by using one of the TANF health talk posters to support her sessions. The most recognized symptoms, which the class already had a brief understanding of, were vomiting and convulsion in children.
The next sections of the talks were about the preventions for Malaria to educate the children on what to precautions to take during daily life. Charity spoke about the ways to control the disease, which included the following measures; draining or destroying of empty containers, weeding around houses, sleeping under treated mosquito nets, netting doors/ windows, use of creams and mosquito repellants.
The children across both schools actively participated in discussions with Charity and engaged with her on contributing by raising their hands to say which prevention’s they are currently doing.
At the end of each talk, Charity gave the class the opportunity to ask any questions on Malaria and what they have learned during the session. Questions included, how did Malaria come about? How is Malaria transmitted? If you have Malaria can you get additional diseases? If you are not rushed to hospital can you die? Do you become dehydrated every time you get Malaria? Many of these questions were explained during the session; however the children seemed to want assurance and more clarity on certain points. Charity elaborated on these areas and the children left their talks with confidence.
TANF are extremely conscience of the importance of providing free health talks on such diseases as Malaria and realize even just one session on a topic can change young peoples’ lives.