kratie town – Mosquitoes are encountering a surprising enemy as a community development NGO is stepping up its malaria control efforts in Kratie province.
This year the NGO Partners for Development, which has worked with the World Health Organization to distribute mosquito nets in Kratie since 1997, plans to expand its malaria program to cover all the villages of Kratie province.
Malaria is a serious problem in the northern province and the NGO is responding to community requests in organizing the malaria program, said Richard Schroeder, provincial coordinator for Partners.
By its own counts, Partners’ malaria program covers 167 villages in the province and they want to get nets to about 100 more.
Additionally the NGO has to return to each of the villages visited in the past to re-impregnate old nets with fresh insecticide, said Carla Melvin, the NGO’s program officer for community health.
This is a natural progression for Partners, Melvin said. It came in to the country as a water supply and hygiene program but has become more focused on comprehensive health-care, she said.
“We’re very proud of our malaria-control product,” Melvin said. The program strives for 100 percent coverage, meaning 100 percent of the people, Melvin said. Every member of every family in every village gets covered by the program, she said.
While other programs simply allot an average of two and a half nets per household, Partners for Development takes a more detailed approach, she said.
A team from the NGO is sent out to a village and a census is taken, including ages and genders of everyone in the families. This information is used to calculate how many mosquito nets a family needs to cover each bed in the household before the team returns at a later date to distribute nets, she said.
The NGO’s work with the village doesn’t end with distribution however.
“We’re all creatures of habit,” Melvin noted. So a key part of the program is educating the villages on using the nets properly, she said.
There’s also a monitoring phase, Melvin said. After three months, the team returns for an inspection of the nets to see how they are being used and what changes might be made to improve the program, she said.