20 November 2012

Gambia: Youth Matters - Eradicating Malaria in Our Communities

After the distribution of 500 bed nets to the communities of Marakissa, Bakary Sambuja, Bajiran and Darsilameh in the West Coast Region by Your Change For a Change (YCFAC), findings have established that the malaria cases and the mosquito prevalence in these communities have drastically dropped.

Your Change For a Change (YCFaC), a non-profit making organisation established by a group of dedicated young Gambians based in different parts of the world, distributed the bed nets to these communities in 2011.

In a telephone interview with Youth Matters, the community health nurse at Marakisa Health Centre, Momodou Jallow said the provision of the bed nets has had a positive impact on the lives of the people of the area. Since the distribution of the bed nets here in 2011, he said, very few malaria cases have been reported. Jallow however pointed out that the preventable disease is a serious threat to human life, especially children and pregnant women.

The deputy country director of the organisation's Gambia chapter, Lamin Darboe said, "Human beings are at war with malaria, particularly in the African continent; 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 human beings 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, preventive services and health education".

The anti-malaria initiative of the organisation in 2010, Darboe disclosed, was the first project with a short-term goal to raise five thousand US dollars in order to purchase and distribute 500 treated bed nets in Gambian communities, which was done in Marakisa and other villages.

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.

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