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Lutheran Church Intensifies Malaria Prevention Campaign in Rural Liberia

Under its preventive health  services  program ,  the Lutheran Church in Liberia Malaria Program (LCLMP) continues to employ various measures in expanding its malaria prevention awareness campaign  in rural communities mainly in central Liberia.

The  prevalence rate  of  malaria parasitemia in children  across the region is put at  62% according to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare  2016  Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS).

Through funding support from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ( ELCA), Lutheran Church in Liberia Malaria Program currently implements its  malaria prevention project in ten catchment communities in Bong County using different communication channels  and a chain of Community Health Volunteers (CHV) to convey malaria preclusion    messages  among the local population .

According to the  LCL Malaria Program Coordinator   Sue Larmouth Gaye-Korgba ,   component of the project focuses on  advocacy training where community  members are provided skills to initiate local advocacy on malaria prevention in their localities  to continue beyond the project lifespan as part of the sustainability strategy  and building ownership among community residents to develop the resilience in managing   their own healthcare.

‘’We are also involved with the establishment of school health clubs in all ten project communities where students lead malaria prevention awareness and sensitization campaigns on various school campuses and communities. The focus of theses campaigns has been mainly to increase responsiveness among the locals on the right usage and maintenance of the mosquito  nets we normally distribute to prevent malaria’’  the LCL malaria program coordinator  emphasised.

 

Madam Gaye-Korgba   indicated under the malaria prevention project ,  community malaria prevention  committee  has been established  in all ten communities  targeted by the project involving  various community stakeholders including women and youth representation .

‘’ These committees lead periodic community clean-up  and awareness activities    to  keep their environment  safe from malaria prevalent  . As a result of  these community driven sanitary activities , we are now  realizing considerable decline of malaria related illnesses  being reported at health heath facilities within the location of our project mainly in  Kpai District, Bong County’’  the malaria program coordinator   at the LCL further disclosed .

According  to Madam Gaye-Korgba,  since the inception of the project second phase in 2017, more than four thousand ( 4,000) persons  have directly benefited  from the malaria prevention campaigns through peer education , school health club activities , community health committee, big belle club,  distribution of treated mosquito nets , provision of malaria prevention flyers and support to health facilities within the project area.

As a means of keeping community residents engage with regular conversation around malaria prevention and other diseases to  keep the network  of community health committee active beyond the project implementation period , Madam Gaye-Korgba  indicated   the program also piloted the establishment of  five Village Saving Loan Association (VSLA) in Gbonota and  Hindii situated in Bong County including  Millsburg, Mount Barclay,  and  No. 7 Kingsville located in rural Montserrado County . According to the LCL malaria program coordinator , each VSLA group has 30 persons membership and 150 persons are direct beneficiaries of  the revolving financial  scheme.

Meanwhile, catchment communities that are directly being impacted by the LCL integrated malaria prevention program  in the central region of Liberia  continue to laud the faith-based institution  for the public health intervention that is helping to curb prevalent  rate of the child killer illness (malaria) .

‘’ I am very happy for the presence of the LCL malaria program in our  community because before the program came to this area, our children were frequently getting  sick and sometime result to death as result of malaria attack . For the  short time in our community, malaria cases have reduced through the education we continue to receive from the community health workers on how to prevent malaria .  We regularly clean our surroundings and we fine people violating not to clean their environment’’   Mr. Joseph P. Mogbuwai,  town chief of  Shillingta, Kpai District, Bong County .

The 2016 Health Facility Survey (HFS), the most recent such study, found that malaria remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, accounting for about 42 percent of all clinical consultations and 44 percent of all inpatient deaths among children under five years of age.

The Liberian Ministry of Health’s Joint Annual Health Sector Review Report of 2016 indicated that malaria services were mostly available and provided by 97 percent of the health facilities across the country.

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