Diminishing the effects of malaria – Living Out Compassion

Diminishing the effects of malaria
Located between sewer ponds and a stream, the Justo Mwale Theological College (JMTC) in Zambia is in a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Several outbreaks of malaria have occurred in the surrounding community and on campus, disrupting students’ learning and the college’s operations. Treatment can be received from nearby government health centers, but it is expensive and has not decreased occurrences. Malaria kills about twice as many people as AIDS and tuberculosis combined. The cost of widespread prevention (largely through mosquito nets) adds up to a mere fraction of the $12 billion+ lost in output each year, yet less than 5% of Africa’s children sleep under nets. Treatment-resistant strains of malaria are emerging, making prevention all the more vital.1

Through Overseas Council’s Community Outreach funding, JMTC established a First Aid Unit on campus, staffed by a nurse and volunteers, for treating the first stages of malaria for campus and community residents; conducted indoor spraying (to continue on a quarterly basis); and distributed treated mosquito nets to their staff, students and neighbors. “As a result, day by day, there is a reduction in incidents of malaria in our community,” says Dr. Edwin Zulu, Rector. Other plans include spraying outdoor areas; carrying out an advocacy campaign in the community on prevention, care, treatment and the importance of hygienically clean surroundings to reduce mosquito breeding places; regular maintenance of mosquito nets with anti-malaria treatment; encouraging people to take preventive anti-malaria medication; and providing nutrition supplements to affected people. “It is having a great impact on the college and surrounding community,” he says. “We sincerely thank you for the support and for blessing us with this project…[as] we endeavor to meet the spiritual and physical needs of humanity.”