Michael and Ester are two of the trained volunteers working with the Lutheran malaria program in Katakwi subcounty in Katakwi District, Uganda.
Michael: I have friends, neighbors and relatives in this community and I care about their health. We are far away from the nearest health center, so it is much better for us to have testing and treatment available at the local level. As VHTs, we do home case management: testing and getting treatment to the patients before the case gets severe. “Coartem cures!” – that’s what I tell them [Coartem is an ACT, a front-line malaria medication]. At the beginning, we did not know about malaria. But now we thank you a lot because we have learned and we are able to teach others.
Esther: In the past, I didn’t know much about malaria. And now I am happy that I have these skills: I can test and treat for malaria. One time, I became very sick. My husband was not there. So I tested myself and it was positive. I took Coartem and I got better!
People in my village tell me that they want the “Lutheran nets.” When they wake up in the morning, they see the dead mosquitoes on the outside of the net and they see that the nets are working. The nets they got from the government did not last as long, and they did not see so many dead mosquitoes.