Receiving lifesaving interventions at a time of need
Justina and her husband, Kelvin, are farmers who grow maize and soya beans in the Serenje District in Zambia’s Central Province. The malaria burden here is high which is why it was selected as the location for the MAMaZ Against Malaria project.
One day while Kelvin was out, Annette, one of the couple’s five children, developed a high fever. Later that day, her symptoms worsened: she began vomiting and having diarrhoea. “I was very scared because that day I was alone. My husband had gone to a funeral, so I was the only one that remained with the kids,” Justina says.
The next morning, Justina took Annette to visit the local community health volunteer (CHV), Charity. Justina says that by the time she reached Charity’s house, “my child was unconscious. She had no energy... I did not know [if] she would survive.”
Charity examined Annette and discovered that she was suffering from severe malaria. She gave Annette RAS and an oral rehydration solution, and to her mother, a referral slip to a health facility. Justina rushed Annette to the health facility by bicycle ambulance. When they arrived, Annette was taken straight to the clinical officer who admitted her immediately. She was given injectable artesunate and other therapies at the clinic, where Annette and Justina remained for 4 days. The treatment was concluded with a 3-day course of ACT.
This was the first time that any of Justina and Kelvin’s children had suffered from malaria, and they are grateful for lifesaving interventions, especially RAS and the bicycle transport, that are provided to the community by CHVs.
“Without the CHV,” Justina says, “my child would have died. The challenge is how do you move a sick child from here in the community to the facility? With the help of RAS and the CHVs, it is easier now. We feel confident as parents that our children will survive episodes of malaria.”