Baroness works selling clothes in her community in Western Kenya. She lives with her sister and her son Ivan, who she adopted when his mother abandoned him as a baby. Malaria is very common for them, they all have had it at some point, but awareness on how to prevent or detect it on time is very limited.
Baroness knew about malaria, but she didn’t know how to recognise the symptoms, so she couldn’t identify the disease when her son got infected. “Ivan could not eat, he was weak, he had fever, and anytime he had food he would vomit. I thought it was just a normal sickness.” When Ivan got worse, Baroness took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with malaria. Ivan was lucky and received the treatment just on time, but if Baroness had waited just a bit longer, the consequences would have been fatal.
Baroness has heard great things from community health workers among her neighbours and wishes she had known about the malaria control project beforehand. “If my son gets malaria again they can help him earlier, so that he does not have to come here and be bedridden”. Since its implementation 4 years ago, the project, funded by Malaria No More UK and implemented by PATH, has trained 495 community health volunteers, who were able to screen about 200,000 patients in their own communities, of which over 150,000 tested positive and were subsequently offered a dose of the recommended malaria treatment.
Malaria No More UK is now working to make sure that the global resource and investment is in place to ensure that within a generation, children like Ivan can grown up in a malaria free world.