“In Malawi, malaria is one of the deadly diseases, because it affects almost everybody. And it is transmitted by mosquitoes, but it is prevalent throughout the country. In a year we have about 6 million cases of malaria [in Malawi]. And this is mainly in the under-5 children and the pregnant women. Malaria is one of the major diseases—the deadly diseases—in Malawi. And it’s a health issue, but I could also say it is a development issue which we have to right, because it is claiming a lot of lives, especially among the children.”
“The changes [as a result of the malaria program] are quite tremendous and very significant ones. You know, at first, most of the people in the rural areas, they didn’t know the symptoms of malaria. Now when the campaign started, we started teaching the people to be able to understand the symptoms of malaria, and the importance of rushing to the hospitals before they can lose lives. And a lot has happened now and this is reflected in the health centers we are working with; now they have high attendance of people going for treatment of malaria. By so doing, a lot of lives are being saved. Apart from that, we are also teaching: teaching them how to prevent from being bitten by mosquito, which transmits malaria. And they are using the mosquito nets.”
“What I can say is that the [malaria] campaign is doing wonders. It’s like a miracle. You know, at first many children were dying. But now the mortality rate has reduced significantly, and we’re very proud about what ELCA is doing [with] our church.”
“Everywhere you go, you talk about the malaria campaign, women are just dancing and singing, because so many lives are being saved, especially under the young children under 5 years.”
“With the interventions we have in the Malaria Campaign, life is much, much easier now.”
“What I love most about the church is that when it comes to community work, it doesn’t target only the members only, but it looks at the surrounding communities as well, as also deserving of the services.”
These are just some of the wonderful insights shared by Ms. Judith Jere, Coordinator of the Lutheran Malaria Program in Malawi, in a March, 2013 interview. I encourage you to click here to read the entire interview with Judith!