Malaria remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Malawi, especially among pregnant women and children aged under 5 years. The Health management information system data indicates that malaria accounts for 40% of all outpatient visits.
In Malawi, even though the malaria awareness is high with more than nine in every ten still the prevalence rate stands high at 33% resulting into not less than 4 million people being diagnosed annually. This has not demonstrated resultant improved malaria prevention and control behaviors among Malawians.
To ensure that there’s increased knowledge of Malaria prevention and control, PACHI is implementing a malaria social and behaviors change project in three traditional authorities in Mchinji district of Mduwa, Mkanda and Gumba. The aim is to contribute to the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality by increasing demand for quality health services through improved access and utilization of malaria prevention and control services.
On April 4, 2018 PACHI embarked on a 5 day orientation exercise with the community health action groups (CHAGs) with the aim of exploring how best they can effectively integrate the malaria social behavior change project activities into their Essential Health Package (EHP) activities which they are championing in their respective communities.
Understanding the role of gender in adoption of malaria prevention and control is key towards improved coverage and effectiveness of malaria control and prevention strategies. As such all the CHAGs oriented constituted both male and female members with an estimate of 50% equal representation.
The Project facilitators in all the meetings managed to brief the CHAGs on the aim and objectives of the project. Through these meetings the CHAGs strongly believe the project will help towards reduction of malaria related deaths in the district.
“This project will positively help communities on issues to do with malaria prevention and control as PACHI will support us in dissemination of malaria information in our respective communities” said Loveness Njovu, CHAG member from Mikundi, Mchinji.
Orientation session in progress
PACHI is implementing the Malaria Social Behaviour change project with support from USAID through Management Sciences for Health ONSE health activity to decrease malaria morbidity and mortality especially among women, children and the marginalized populations in Mchinji district.