Sono and Ruti – The Lutheran malaria program in Tanzania

Posted on December 18, 2015 by Ashley Debilzen

 

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​Sono Larab (congregant)

​Sono participated in malaria workshop led by his parish in March 2013. He learned the dangers of mosquitoes, symptoms of malaria, the importance of seeking treatment and using bed nets. This was all new information to him when it was shared at the workshop.

In Sono’s family (three wives, 10 children), some but not all members of the family are sleeping under nets. Priority is given to the children. Sono has noted a reduction in the number of times his family members get malaria since they started using nets.

Sono is a leader in his area so he’s used his influence in the community to share with neighboring households what he’s learned and many of them have also started using nets.

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Ruti Ramaita

Ruti did not attend the malaria workshop herself but learned from others who attended about using nets and recognizing malaria symptoms. “People are suffering,” she says. “We spent a lot of money on medicines to treat malaria because we didn’t know what caused it.”

There are 10 children and 4 adults in Ruti’s family. Between them they have three nets to use. The children are prioritized for sleeping under the nets (this wasn’t taught or specifically encouraged in the workshops but it seems to be the tendency).

A new bed net would cost about 8,000 Tanzanian Shillings in this area. It is 9 km to reach the church health facility and 17 km to reach the government health facility.  Ruti says when she needs to get medical treatment she will walk until she can’t go any further and then sleep in that place and continue the next day.

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