Fighting Malaria

by James Kamuye Kataru
Training session on fighting malaria. Picture by Kataru Concepts.

According to Centre for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenya has an estimated 3.5 million new clinical cases and over 10,700 deaths from malaria annually. The report further says that cases in Western Kenya are more prevalent, hence the need for households to practice Malaria control methods as explained in the Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) “Malaria Prevention” animation.

Lugari constituency of Kakamega County in the western region is a malaria prevalent area where climatic conditions favor the breeding of the anopheles mosquito that spreads malaria. Through Bahati youth group of Lumakanda area, Lugari constituency, members were taught the Malaria prevention measures as featured in the SAWBO “Malaria Prevention” animation. Topics discussed included:

 Symptoms of malaria

It is always important to identify the symptoms of malaria infection early and seek medical assistance. According to the SAWBO Malaria prevention animation, the following are symptoms; high fever, chills, abdominal pain, headaches, tiredness and fatigue.

Prevention of malaria.

It’s imperative to know that the malaria spreading mosquito feeds on people between evening and dawn. So protection and prevention is most important within these hours. Families need to factor protecting themselves from malaria inside and outside the house.

From inside the house;

Mosquito nets should be hung around beds and tucked in nicely to prevent mosquitoes from getting in. 

Installing plastic mosquito screens or wire gauze on windows and doors, not forgetting all other entries, is advised to keep mosquitoes out.

Apply insecticide sprays approved for use inside your houses. This kills mosquitoes and reduces the risk of malaria infections.

Use electric diffusors with refillable containers to keep mosquitoes away from the house.

From Outside the house;

Remove all open containers that can hold water, such as cans, tins, tires and empty bottles.

Pick up all trash and destroy it or keep it in locked containers to be picked up by garbage collection trucks.

Empty all standing water accumulated in containers or puddles because they are convenient mosquito breeding grounds.

Place all containers stored outside the house upside down to prevent them from accumulating water.

Ensure all containers with drinking or farm-use water are tightly closed to prevent mosquitos from laying their eggs there.

Empty all trash from house gutters.

Finally, clear all bushes and grasses around the home and neighborhood.

The above steps to prevent malaria, as captured by the SAWBO animation, were viewed by 15 members of the Bahati youth group on laptop and internet ready phones, the video deployer download, and downloaded videos shared. The group was careful to follow all Kenyan government regulations and international rules on COVID-19 to maintain safety. 

After the Malaria Prevention Training session, the youth group was taken through the SAWBO Post-Harvest Loss: Jerry can Bean Storage animation, which I discussed in my previous blog “A beautiful ‘grainy seeded’ day in the farming village”.

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