Sam and Wilfred are two of the trained volunteers working with the Lutheran malaria program in Katakwi subcounty in Katakwi District, Uganda.
Sam: I have learned a lot as a VHT. Even in my own family, it is now easy for me to know when I should test them for malaria. When my family members are ill, first I test them for malaria. If it is negative, then it may be some other sickness, so I bring them to the Health Center. This happens in my own household, but also with my neighbors and in the whole village. I am happy because we have seen a positive change at home. Before, many children in my own household would fall ill, as many as 3 at a time! Now I test them within 24 hours of showing symptoms. My children are healthy and we are not spending money on malaria. We used to spend 7,000 shillings every time, for buying Coartem [malaria medication] when children were sick. Now we can save that money.
Wilfred: Being a VHT has helped me to achieve something that I am very proud of. People in my community are very happy because they are no longer spending money on malaria, because the Lutheran malaria program brought help to us. Second, children’s attendance in school is very good now, because they are no longer suffering from malaria. People living with HIV and AIDS are also happy now, because they no longer have to deal with malaria.