Malaria is highly prevalent in Zambia with everyone at risk of contracting it, especially children under 5 years. The risk is highest in the rural, impoverished provinces like Central and Muchinga. Most children like Annie Matipa, 4, have been sick countless times since birth. That is, until World Vision trained Community Health Workers (CHW) to help reduce this scourge in their communities.
Annie’s mother Given says, “Annie is a brave girl who has fought for her life...Annie was born healthy until she turned one and malaria became her companion for 3 plus years...Annie could get sick for almost a month and only feel a little better for two days before she got sick again.” She painfully adds, “Annie’s body became thin, eyes and skin turned yellow, shaking chills, muscle aches, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, she laid on the mat throughout.”
Thankfully in 2020, World Vision recruited and trained CHWs and gave them medical kits to help reduce malaria in their communities. Moses, 47, volunteered as a CHW. He lives in Annie’s neighborhood and provided first line treatment before referring patients to health clinics. Moses even embarked on a door to door effort, sensitizing his community and treating those who tested positive with malaria. “After the training, I took it upon myself to help reduce malaria in my community...in my sensitizations, I found Annie very ill with all malaria symptoms, and she was almost dying.”
Moses talked to Annie’s parents who agreed to have her tested. “Annie’s parents were closed up when I started talking to them about how malaria is transmitted, it’s symptoms and how to manage it by quickly getting help from the clinic or a CHW,” says Moses. “When they got a little convinced with what I shared, they allowed me to do a rapid diagnostic test and malaria results were positive. I quickly administered medication and made a program for daily monitoring,” he adds. A few hours after Annie took malaria medication, she gained strength for the first time and called to her dad, to his amazement. “I was so shocked to hear my daughter call me – dad! She looked stronger and came to me, I was in disbelief,” Manford says.
Moses says, “If it wasn’t for the knowledge impacted in me and the medicine kit provided by World Vision, Annie would have been dead. She was gasping for her breath when I visited. I am grateful to God that I have become part of the solution in this community to kick out malaria.”
"If I knew earlier about the importance of going to the clinic, I wouldn’t have put my child at risk. Annie would have died,” Given says. “I am grateful to World Vision and Moses for saving my child’s life,” she joyfully adds.