Justine will never forget her panic when her son Samuel collapsed right in front of her at their home in Namibia. She rushed him to hospital where her suspicions of malaria were confirmed. To Justine’s great relief, Samuel was treated in time to make a full recovery. “It was a traumatic experience. I would not wish that worry on any mother”.
Justine lives with her family of four and is an active member of her community. When she started having terrible pains in her head and back last year, she immediately suspected malaria, and once again she was proven right. She sought treatment at the hospital and although she made a good recovery, like everyone in the village, she continued to worry about malaria. “When the rainy season comes, so do the mosquitoes and the chance of death.”
These days, however, Justine and Samuel worry much less as they have learnt about malaria and how to prevent it in the first place. Thanks to a project supported by partners including Malaria No More UK, they now sleep under mosquito nets at night, which is the time when malarial mosquitoes bite most. Nets are an essential first step in helping prevent malaria, cutting deaths by 20% and malaria cases by half.
“I have more peace now that we can sleep safely at night. We know how to protect ourselves and I am determined not to catch it again”. As Namibia continues to make excellent progress in the malaria fight and working to be malaria free by 2020, families just like Justine’s are hugely relieved.