Healthcare in Africa
Fighting Malaria in Sierra Leone
While many Americans were watching Thanksgiving football games, United Methodists in a southern Sierra Leone city took to another kind of football field to save lives.
On Nov. 25, United Methodists joined government officials at Bo Coronation Field to launch a nationwide campaign to fight the spread of mosquito-borne malaria.
"That a church has taken malaria infection so seriously that it can invest huge capital to fight the disease is worth commending," Dr. Samuel Stevens, Bo District medical officer, said.
More than 320,000 bed nets were delivered to homes in the Bo District.
The United Methodist Church has also funded the training of 3,700 health workers and volunteers for the net distribution. In addition to helping distribute the nets, teams of volunteers are going house-to-house throughout the country to register the number of sleeping places in each to determine how many nets each family will receive. They then issue tickets for people to take to the distribution centers to collect the nets.
Each home will receive a second visit, this time from volunteers armed with nails, hammers and ropes to make certain the nets are hung over sleeping places and to educate families on their use. Teaching proper use of the nets is essential to the success of the campaign. Read the full article online.
Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr., associate general secretary and director of Mission Communications of the General Board of Global Ministries, took part in the net distribution in addition to photographing and videotaping the event.
Photos: 1. A woman hangs a net, which will be used to prevent malaria, while a child watches in Sierra Leone. UMNS Web-only photos by Phileas Jusu.
2.The launching of the Bo District’s net distribution begins with a march past health workers through the main streets of Bo. UMNS Web-only photos by Phileas Jusu.