Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"Malaria is a problem."

by Keneth Kaggwa, Program Coordinator
Wentegeze Sadadi, Chairman of Bufutula A,
Iganga District, Uganda

“Malaria is a problem."

This statement from Wentegeze Sadadi, the elected Chairman of Bufutula A, a village selected to be part of UVP's 3-year Healthy Villages program beginning this year. Chairman Wentegeze continued: "People don’t know that malaria is dangerous. It affects much the young. We have a challenge during rainy season where mosquitoes are many. This is why I decided to buy a discounted mosquito net from UVP. We must remember that during the UVP interns’ stay in the village this summer there occurred six deaths from malaria, five of which were reported to be kids under five years of age."

The Chairman said that the deaths shocked him, and that one of the problems was poverty. He went on to say that reluctance to take preventive measures also contributed to the death of these kids.

“I think we can do something to prevent this from happening again in my village,” he vowed.

Talking about himself and how the mosquito nets have impacted his life, he says that now he doesn’t have to buy medications as often as he used to. He says, “Nets are good and easy to use and now that I don’t always fall sick of malaria, I have much more time to work and provide for my family.”

He says that when UVP is gone (after the 3-year Healthy Villages program in Bufutula A concludes), he will continue to work with the government health department to continue educating more people and encouraging them to prevent malaria. He says that he will not cease reminding people about these nets. “Though I know that now many of them have nicknamed me 'The Mosquito Net Guy,' I am still going to remind them that if you don’t sleep under a mosquito net and then you get malaria, you can spend USh 200,000.” He also strongly exclaims that “all need to know because this will save a lot.”

Chairman Wentegeze estimates that in the past malaria prevalence in his village was around 70%. Now it is reducing to around 50%. In his mind, he is waiting for that day when malaria prevalence will reduce to around 30 or 20%.

He believes that this is possible.