The photo is of a young girl who came to the clinic with suspected Malaria. She was very poorly and was waiting on her test results, which showed she had Malaria. Fortunately she made a full recovery after treatment.
On World Malaria Day it is good to see that Malaria is reducing worldwide. Even in Buburi Kenya, where we support the health clinic, the rates of infection have improved. Since 2010 we have seen a 77% reduction in children under 5 years old in our local community with Malaria .
This is great news, but (and there is always a but) these figures are still awful – in 2016 we saw 944 children under 5 years with Malaria. Sub Saharan Africa carries the biggest burden of disease and 89% of the Malaria deaths are in this region. It is children who are the most affected; shockingly a child dies every 2 minutes from the disease.
Because Buburi Clinic is situated in a fairly remote and poor area the clinic sees many children with Malaria. We have a two-pronged approach towards this: the first is to make an accurate diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment can be given promptly. We can do this because we employ a laboratory technician and have a good microscope at the clinic. We also have qualified staff that know how to diagnose and treat Malaria.
The second is prevention. Most people around the clinic live in simple houses made from mud bricks with a grass roof or, if finances allow, a corrugated iron roof. The grass roofs nearly always leak. Standing water is common and it is in these conditions that the mosquito thrives. The Community Health Workers spend a lot of time educating local families about the importance of covering water sources and explaining the necessity for early treatment.
It is the Kenyan Government’s policy that all families should have insecticide treated nets and so we distribute these to pregnant women, children under 5 years and the elderly. These distributions have had a huge impact on the mosquito population and have had a significantly positive effect on Malaria rates.
It is thanks to your support that we can undertake this work and the people of Buburi are very grateful. As the Assistant Chief said ‘ thanks to Buburi Clinic, it is another year that our children won’t die of Malaria’