IWHP Fights Malaria

The Improving Women’s Health Program (aka IWHP for you acronym lovers out there) will blow your mind with its impact on the battle with Malaria in Tanzania.  Truly AMAZING!

Malaria is a disease that kills a child every 30 seconds in Tanzania. But malaria can be prevented—just by using treated mosquito nets. The Improving Women’s Health Program (IWHP) is doing its part by educating people in Same District about what to do.

Our 33 Community Health Educators (CHEs) have just completed three months of educational programming that teaches people about malaria and what steps to take to protect their children,” said Efrancia Nzota, Program Manager for IWHP.  During this three-month period, the CHEs conducted 1,065 community meetings that provided basic health education about malaria to the attendees. The meetings were conducted in schools, churches, and health facilities. Over 39,500 people attended these meetings.

An IWHP Community Health Educator does a presentation to local residents about Malaria prevention.

An IWHP Community Health Educator does a presentation to local residents about Malaria prevention.

One surprise we had was the large number of men who attended, “ Nzota continued. Usually about 10 or 15 percent are men. But this time, about 40 percent were men. I think this is an important topic for everyone, both men and women.

For the first two months of the program The CHEs and their volunteers visited over 11,600 homes of people who attended the classes. They surveyed people who attended the classes and asked them if they were now using mosquito nets. After the first month’s training, the number using nets increased from 64% to 85% and after the second month’s training, usage of nets went from 81% to 97%.

Efrancia Nzota (left) and Community Health Educator, Hilper Kiboma prepare for a presentation.

Efrancia Nzota (left) and Community Health Educator, Hilper Kiboma prepare for a presentation.

This program is making a big difference in the daily living practices of the people of Same District. We are looking forward to seeing data showing a decline in the number of cases of malaria, “said Nzota. “IWHP will do its part to reach the Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce under age five mortality by two-thirds by 2015. We expect to meet that goal.” She concluded.