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Spotlight Series: Stopping Malaria In Its Tracks

Mentor Mothers in Banda Health Center, Uganda.

Mentor Mothers in Banda Health Center, Uganda.

Malaria is a serious, and growing health challenge for the communities we work with across sub-Saharan Africa. It is a dangerous disease in its own right, and living with HIV increases the risk of a more severe malaria infection. Malaria is also associated with an increase in the viral load of people living with HIV. While effective, affordable preventative measures and treatments are available, things are getting worse, not better. 627,000 people died of malaria in 2020 (69,000 more than in 2019), and the World Health Organization African Region accounted for 96% of all malaria deaths in 2020.​ What is more, 80% of all malaria deaths in the WHO Africa region are among children under age 5.  

The Next Five Years: Malaria

Over the next five years, m2m will be addressing this challenge head on to respond to the changing health needs of our clients. We know that the durable and trustworthy relationships that m2m Mentor Mothers build with their clients, including through home-based support, mean that we can deliver impact in this area, and a healthier future for the women, children, adolescents, and families that we work with. Malaria is endemic in almost all of mothers2mothers’ (m2m) operating countries, so it’s important we take this step.  

m2m’s community health workers will support their clients to ensure consistent adherence to preventative measures (e.g., bed nets) and drive the early identification and screening, testing, and treatment essential to save lives. By also employing allied health professionals (such as nurses), we will be able to offer testing and diagnosis for all members of a household, dispense medications, and rapidly refer severe cases for detailed follow-up.  

Meet Mentor Mother Lucia

Mentor Mother Lucia Fote at Matola II Health Facility in Uganda.

Mentor Mother Lucia Fote at Matola II Health Facility in Mozambique.

Mentor Mother Lucia Fote at Matola II Health Facility in Mozambique and a mother of three girls, shares the importance of tackling this health challenge as part of the services that she and her team provide on the frontlines: 

“Malaria has a huge impact in my community, especially as there are so many mosquitoes in our area. I personally have had malaria. That is why, as a health provider doing community visits, I educate my clients and teach them about the correct use of the mosquito net, and make sure that every pregnant woman receives the net to prevent malaria during her pregnancy. We also talk a lot to our clients about measures to take at home to avoid exposing the family to malaria.”   

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