Four-year Olds Learn to Combat Malaria and Teach Their Parents
Quote: “We have not had a single case of malaria during this school year compared to last year. Also, children are no longer missing classes due to illnesses, and I think we owe that to Africare and its interventions in our school.”
Kande is a neighborhood in Ziguinchor Region, Senegal, characterized by an abundance of rain. As a result, malaria accounts for the highest number of health facility appointments. Those most vulnerable to contracting malaria are women and children under five. In February 2007, Africare started reimpregnating mosquito nets in schools especially designed for children under four (“Case des Touts Petits) through training the female monitors in reimpregnation techniques.
The children brought in their own bed nets and those of their families. Some children even made their mothers buy new bed nets. These young children were able to change their families’ behaviors on the use and impregnation of bed nets after learning from their schools.
Parents and school monitors alike are pleased with the results. Mareme Mbaya Mboup, one of the school monitors, says, “We have not had a single case of malaria during this school year compared to last year. Also, children are no longer missing classes due to illnesses, and I think we owe that to Africare and its interventions in our school.” Mariama Cisse, mother of one young student, says, “My son asked me to buy a mosquito net and impregnate it in the school he is attending. Currently all children sleep under a bednet. Let me knock on wood, not a single child has gotten sick during this rainy season.”