Drocas Dako knows how to multitask. During Mali’s seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign, she’s out of the door by 7 am to distribute free pills that protect children from malaria. She goes from one household to the next, carrying her baby on her back.
At one of the first homes, Drocas is welcomed with friendly greetings and chatter as she and the household’s grandmother, Assitar, collect the young children and sit down together in the shade of a nearby tree.
Drocas administers the pills to a 4-year-old boy, Alou
Thinking back to the training she received from a nurse at the closest health clinic, Drocas administers the pills to a 4-year-old boy, Alou, and speaks kindly as she reminds Assitar of the importance of checking off on Alou’s SMC card that the second and third doses were indeed given later at home.
The health worker makes a mark with chalk to signal that she has visited the house
That afternoon, Drocas emerges from visiting another household in the Segou region and makes a mark with chalk next to the home’s door to signal that she has visited the house and distributed medicine, as is the custom during SMC campaigns. Drocas managed to reach all six of the eligible children living there.
She will be back one month later to administer another dose
During the first campaign cycle in July, Drocas reminded Assitar and other caregivers that she would be back almost exactly one month later to administer another dose and would return again in both September and October.
For young children in Mali and other countries across Africa’s Sahel region, Drocas is a life saver.