It seems wherever Rev. David Ngogo is, he’s talking about malaria. “Many people have lost their lives because of ignorance about malaria. Through education, we could save a lot of people.”
Rev. Ngogo is pastor of a rural parish in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT). The Lutheran malaria program is working with the ELCT to let church members know about malaria prevention, how to tell if they have malaria and what to do if they or their children become ill.
Rev. Ngogo serves three churches in the Konde Diocese in southern Tanzania and is very passionate about this work. Every Sunday after the weekly worship service, he talks to people about malaria. He wants to make sure they understand how dangerous it can be and how easy it is to prevent by doing a few simple things.
“God has empowered us to know how to avoid diseases like malaria. We can defeat bad things like disease because we are empowered.”
Every week he tells the people that malaria can kill. It is spread by mosquitoes. You can prevent malaria by sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net. If you think you or your child have malaria, go to the hospital right away. Young children are most at risk.
Rev. Ngogo learned these points from the Lutheran malaria program. Because of what the church is doing, thousands of people now know about malaria and how to protect themselves.
“Since we started this work,” he says, “more than one person [in my congregation] has gotten sick and recognized the symptoms early enough to seek treatment. And that is thanks to this training.”
The Lutheran malaria program in Tanzania is supported by the ELCA Malaria Campaign and implemented by Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Photo by Emilie Sollie, courtesy of LWR.