Education and prevention are essential to avoid contracting malaria. But in some remote areas, this information is hard to access due to lack of resources and health professionals, which leaves community members even more vulnerable.
Since Naemi became a community health worker in her village in Namibia, she has gained the knowledge and skills needed to help her community avoid malaria.
Naemi’s day starts at about 7am. She visits up to 15 houses and sees about 25 people every day. In her village, most people don’t know where malaria comes from and part of her fieldwork consists of carrying out door-to-door visits to explain what the malaria parasite is and how to prevent the mosquito bite. “Before, I used to tell kids, ‘Don’t play with water because you’ll get malaria,’” she says. “Now I know it is from mosquitoes only.” She also looks for malaria symptoms and tests any patients who feel unwell with a rapid diagnostic test.
Naemi is very grateful for the project and hopes that more people will be trained to become community health workers and have a clearer understanding of malaria like her.
In 2018, Malaria No More UK and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) collaborated on a project to increase the pace of Namibia’s progress towards malaria elimination. Working with the National Vector-borne Diseases Control Programme and Ministry of Health, the collaboration supported the rollout of programmes which trained new health workers across districts and mobilised domestic resources for other interventions – such as insecticides and surveillance to anticipate outbreaks.