Protecting our children

Maurosia Nambooze is a farmer and the mother of 3-year-old Jemima pictured here. Together with Maurosia’s husband and elder son, they live in Kafumu, Uganda, close to the banks of Lake Victoria in the world’s most fertile breeding ground for malaria mosquitos. 

When asked about how malaria is being tackled in Kafumu, Maurosia explains that “community health-care workers have done a lot, because every child sleeps under a net – they are specialized in giving out mosquito nets.”

Yet even so malaria can slip through the net. Jemima is recovering from a bout of malaria; she was sick with it last year too.  

Fortunately, the family lives close to a clinic and so can access medicines when needed. On this occasion, Maurosia was given ACT tablets to treat Jemima.

“I grind it and put it with water and sugar. If it’s sour she will vomit, even if it’s mixed with water,” Maurosia said. The ACT had to be administered twice daily for 3 days.    

“Just one dose would be better,” she continued.

A single-dose cure palatable to children would be a major advance in antimalarial treatment. It would mean that children like Jemima could receive a full curative dose in one go, ensuring their complete recovery and guarding against the emergence of drug resistance.