“Malaria is a nightmare for us,” was the immediate reaction from Christopher Mundia when asked about the malaria situation in his home area of Chipulukusu Township, Ndola, Zambia. Swampy vegetation surrounds the township, contributing to high malaria transmission all year round. Christopher’s daughter, Phyllis, is just recovering from the disease. “Phyllis was treated last week. Look at her; she still looks pale,” Christopher commented.
Unfortunately, a child suffering from malaria is not a rare occurrence in the Mundia household. “We have two children under 5 years who get malaria six to seven times a year,” said Christopher. “We also have a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old who both needed to be hospitalized with severe malaria. Our home is devastated by malaria.”
“Malaria seriously affects our economic situation,” said Agness Mundia, Phyllis’s mother. “I cannot engage in any form of productive activity to supplement my husband’s salary, as I am often at home nursing one child after another. Sometimes I have to be in hospital with the children, nursing them because they are severely ill and require quinine in a drip for treatment.” Christopher added “My workplace has cautioned me several times because of the repeated need to assist my wife with our sick children.”
Fortunately, the family live just 3 km away from the nearest clinic, where they can access high-quality artemisinin-based combination therapies at no cost. “If there were no drugs in the health facilities, we would never be able to afford to keep buying them to give to the children. These drugs are very important to us; they form part of our daily lives because of the situation we live in."