Action for Development Sierra Leone a local NGO that is keen on promoting health care delivery at the community level is currently engaged in a sensitization campaign on the prevention and control of Malaria at household and community levels.
Last Friday, the organization in collaboration with the District Health Management Team of the Western Area took the malaria awareness raising campaign to pregnant women, lactating mothers and mothers of fewer than five children that are members of the Faith Clinic of Jesus is Lord Ministries Church at Tower Hill in Freetown.
Addressing women in the jam packed hall the Director of Action for Development, Mbalu Sesay said malaria is the major cause of death of under- five children and pregnant women in the country and it is for this reason that Action for Development has embarked on promoting community mobilization on the recognition of the signs and symptoms of malaria.
She encouraged the women to always keep their homes and surroundings clean to prevent Mosquitoes from breeding in their environments. She also advised the women to ensure that they sleep under an insecticide treated net at all times to prevent them from mosquito bite as it is through the anopheles mosquito that malaria is contracted.
In her message to the women Mbalu Sesay said it is appalling to see children giving birth to children as there are so many young girls in their teens getting pregnant which mostly result in maternal deaths because of inexperience.
The Director commended the effort of government for taking a decision to provide free health care delivery for pregnant women, lactating mothers and under five children by April 27th 2010. She noted that such a move will encourage the less privileged women who cannot afford to pay for medical attention in hospitals to start going to the hospitals.
Madam Mbalu Sesay encouraged women to take advantage of the opportunity and help save their lives and the lives of their children.
Representing the District Health Management Team was Ben Coker who is a social mobilization coordinator. He disclosed that out of every 1,000 children 140 of them die of malaria on a yearly basis in the country. He said parents have a great role to play in ensuring that they prevent their children from dying from malaria.
The National Coordinator for Mosquito Nets Haja Mariama Mansaray explained the use of mosquito nets and disclosed that by November this year every household must have the opportunity to sleep under an insecticide treated net.
Councilor Winifred Mansaray who represented the Mayor of Freetown Herbert George Williams at the ceremony pleaded with women to always keep their environment clean and mosquito free.
By William Freeman