On the Road to Improved Malaria Prevention

Oct 2013
In 2012, the Ministry of Health, National Malaria Control Center, and the USAID-funded project, Communications Support for Health (CSH), launched a national malaria campaign called STOP Malaria: Let’s Do It Zambia!
Community health workers performing a net demonstration during a road show in Mansa, Luapula Province. Source: Prudence Katongo

“I should not delay to go to the clinic when I feel I might have malaria. I should not treat myself, and I should be the one to sensitize the community about malaria,” said a traditional leader, reflecting on what he learned as part of a STOP Malaria road show in Eastern Province, Zambia.

In 2012, the Ministry of Health, National Malaria Control Center, and the USAID-funded project, Communications Support for Health (CSH), launched a national malaria campaign called STOP Malaria: Let’s Do It Zambia! The campaign uses an innovative initiative called Champion Communities that encourages communities to take ownership in setting their own targets for malaria prevention and treatment. To kick off the yearlong initiative, CSH conducted three-day road shows in four of Zambia’s most malaria prone provinces. Each road show opened with two days of trainings for community leaders and teachers. Participants were oriented on key STOP Malaria messages and products, including an interactive board game, and the role of community leadership in malaria prevention.

“Now I feel I can be one of the leaders to spearhead the campaign [in my community],” said a school teacher. “We did not understand the importance of nets [before]. Now I am aware so I will teach my community not to waste this precious intervention.”

The road shows culminated in large community events on the third day, involving net demonstrations, access to malaria testing and treatment, as well as nutrition demonstrations. Over 5,000 people attended the events, with over half of them getting tested for malaria.

“I have knowledge that I didn’t have before,” said a pregnant woman at the Chadiza District road show. “My thinking has changed because I have learned that malaria kills within a short period of time. Now I know to go for a malaria test immediately when I feel bad.”

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