An Ounce of Malaria Prevention

"I promise this won't hurt a bit."

"I promise this won't hurt a bit."

I’m now a member of an organization called Acts in Afrika.  It’s a group of Ghanaians, both medical and non-medical, who volunteer their time to help their fellow Ghanaians improve their health.  Saturday we partnered with a group of “elite white women” as I was informed in advance.  The ladies are the spouses of important Ghanaian men, political and such.  We spent the day in Nima, a poor part of the capital city.  Set up inside a church building, we did malaria teaching, screening, and treatment.  A Ghanaian gentleman executed the teaching in a local language.

I must admit that I struggled, not only with the African and Muslim names, but also with some of the children who were scared and anticipated great pain.  My heart went out to them as I tried to reassure them that it really wasn’t going to be that bad.  A complete course of medication, free of charge, was given to the families of children diagnosed with malaria.  In addition, they were also given a bottle of liquid vitamins to improve their health and boost their immune systems and a bottle of Tylenol to help control the fever caused by malaria.  Many families were even given insecticide treated mosquito nets to sleep under at night.  The nets are one of the most important forms of prevention here in Africa. I don’t know the exact number, but I know we tested more than 150 children.   I think the day was a success!

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