8 May 2012

Gambia: YCFAC in the Limelight - a Young People Organization to Combat Malaria

Your Change For a Change (YCFaC) is a non-profit organization founded on the 6th day of April 2011 by a group of dedicated youths based in different areas of the world who are motivated in giving back to their communities and the world at large. It was first registered in the state of Nebraska, in US and launched on the 7th of January in the Republic of The Gambia.

VISION STATEMENT

Your Change for a Change (YCFaC) vision that expecting mothers and under-privileged children throughout the world shall one day not die to curable and manageable diseases affecting them today due to lack of proper incentives. The organization will strive to achieve this vision by soliciting contributions from philanthropist that seek to assist in such charitable causes.

MISSION STATEMENT

i.Your Change for a Change (YCFaC) is a resource for under-privileged children and expecting mothers. Our mission is to make available quality and responsive disease management incentives within communities through participation and contribution of culturally responsible groups / individuals. YCFaC is committed to delivering respectful, compassionate, quality preventive services and access to medical assistance for the under-privilege.

Your Change For a Change (YCFaC) is organized exclusively for charitable purposes only.The aims and objectives of the organization include but are not limited to the following:

ii.To make available quality, responsive, inclusive, diseases management incentives to under privileged children and pregnant women and their communities.

iii. To help increase the participation and contribution of culturally responsible individuals around the world to help deliver respectful, compassionate, quality service, access, and medical assistance to help thwart the dangers of deadly diseases, while positively impact the lives of under privileged pregnant women and children.

iv.To help create awareness about diseases affecting the lives of under privileged pregnant women and children, to collaborate with other genuine organizations/individuals that seek to assist in such (charitable) causes to effect serious change and drastically reduce the mortality rate amongst the targeted group.

The deputy country director of the organization's Gambia chapter, Lamin Darboe said0 human beings are at war with malaria, particularly in the African Continent and shockingly enough, it seems to be winning; killing one child every 30 seconds (3,000 children every day)! Malaria has killed more people than all wars combined, and continues to be one of the greatest public health challenges facing humans today. "Our goal is to thwart the dangers of preventive yet deadly controllable health issues affecting expecting mothers and children by providing them with medical or health incentives, preventative services and health education".

TheMalaria initiative of the organization in 2011 is our first project with a short-term goal to raise five thousand US dollars in order to purchase and distribute 500 treated bed nets in the Gambia (West Africa). Last year (2010) through the support of the YCFaC global, 500 bednets were distributed to the people of Marakissa, Bakary sambuja, bajiran and darsilameh allin the West Coast Region of the Gambia based on the reports of the MOHSW as one of the 2010 Malaria hard hit areas. According to the Health master plan of the Gambia, malaria still remains a major killer disease in the Gambia coupled with Pneumonia, Birth Asphyxia and other host of illnesses.

According to WHO, Malaria alone accounts for over 23% of child mortality in the Gambia. January 2012, YCFAC had a strategic meeting at ChildFund Gambia to develop concrete strategies that will guide our action as we move on. Four prioritized disease were identified as the intervention areas of YCFAC.These disease were prioritized not only based on the severity of their contribution to child mortality and the pressure they placed on the budget of poor people but also based on the Fact that the possibility of combating them are not ambiguous.

Darboe said although the whole Gambian population (1,735,464 people) is at risk, children under five years and pregnant women are at increased risk developing severe malaria. During the implementation of the expired strategic plan (Malaria Control Policy, The Gambia, January 2003), 39% of under-five visits and one in five of antenatal consultations to Reproductive Health and Child (RCH) clinics were due to malaria. In-patient mortality due to malaria in these two groups was 2.7 and 8.3%, respectively (DoSH & SW, 2002).

The prevalence of malaria varies from area to area with highest rates being recorded in rural areas. There are differences between rural areas, with more intense transmission and more severe diseases in the Upper River Region than in any other area Malaria cases occur in The Gambia throughout the year, but the majority of cases occur from September to October.

The transmission of malaria during this period is intense and the number of cases seen at the peak of the season may increase nearly twenty fold compared with the number of cases seen in the middle of the dry season. Although cases of malaria are still seen during the dry season, the number of positive blood smears is low (between 20 to 40% in comparison with a positive rate of over 70% during the peak of the rainy season) in rural areas and as low as 5 % increasing to 59% during the rainy season in a peri-urban setting.

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