It’s April, and you know what that means! It’s Malaria Month! As part of Peace Corps Africa’s Stomp Out Malaria continent wide initiative, it’s time to Blog About Malaria month.
In 2013 the Government of Burkina Faso is planning to implement a universal bet net campaign to ensure universal bet net coverage and help stomp out malaria. So that’s in theory 1 net for every two people or 8 million mosquito nets! Universal coverage is a great idea in theory but each CSPS will be responsible for implementing net distributions. If a CSPS is really organized then it will go well.
In order to help with the universal bed net campaign I decided to do a mosquito net census in my village. I plan on going quartier by quartier asking questions to get a better idea of who has mosquito nets, if they are using them properly and who needs them.
Right now it’s a weird time in my service. I have 4 months yet, so I can’t start any big projects, it’s also hot season and no one wants to do anything. I was talking with my mom and she wanted to find out the infant mortality rate related to co-sleeping, I also want to see if co-sleeping has an impact, I’m pretty sure that every mom in village co-sleeps with her baby…So I thought that I should do a census? It’s easy, I can ask the questions in Moore, and perhaps enlighten people about malaria.
The plan is to ask each family the following 7 questions
- May I see your mosquito net? (If you just ask if they sleep under one they will always say yes)
- Can you show me how to use a mosquito net?
- Do you sleep under it every night?
- Does your baby sleep with you?
- How many times have you had malaria this year?
- How many mosquito nets do you have?
- How many people are in your immediate family?
I’ve done one quartier so far, my quartier, Nayiri, and I was able to speak with 11 families. There are 7 quartiers in my village, and I feel if I can get at least 10 families/quartier that I can get a decent sample size and relevant data to give to the CSPS to help with their net distribution.
Notable observations so far:
Once a net is damaged or “spoiled” people don’t tend to replace them and sleep unprotected
- Potential solution – engage a local tailor to repair nets with pagne scraps at minimal costs
People don’t like sleeping under mosquito nets because it’s too hot. Also, at this time of year in northern Burkina Faso the number of mosquitoes is fairly low.
- Potential Solution – sleeping under a wet pagne or placing it on top of the mosquito net to cool things down
– Ideally there is supposed to be 1 net/2 people. That’s not the case. There are as many as 5 people sharing one net
People are surprised at the number of times they’ve had malaria this year
People are not making the connection that because they have malaria that means that they miss work which leads to financial losses
– People say that they have a mosquito net when they actually don’t. They know they should have one but they don’t.
I’m curious to see where these findings lead, and hopefully it will help ensure universal bed net coverage in my village and also provide some useful data about malaria.
Want to learn more about Peace Corps Africa’s Stomp Out Malaria
This April: Help reduce the number of malaria related deaths.